While some countries have already banned the use of plastic straws India is now starting to make an attempt. Like others, we too produce plastic pollution which affects the marine life, seabirds and the entire ecosystem. Global campaigns such as The Last Straw, strawless in Seattle, Refuse the Straw, Say NO to plastic has gathered momentum online. More & more people are getting educated over these harmful straws and the message is slowly spreading across.
Countries are taking actions to curb this plastic abuse. Let’s take a look at some of them here:
America utilizes 8.5 million drinking straws in a day. This is a staggering number and they are doing their bit now.
- With “strawless in Seattle” marketing campaign gathering the heat, Seattle became the largest US city in July 2018 to ban the use of plastic straws
- Starbucks replaced plastic straws with steel straws
- McDonald’s have recently announced a ban on drinking straws at their chains
- Alaska Airlines became the first airlines to ban straws and stirrer
And, these are just some of the many positives on the plastic ban in the US
- In January 2018, UK announced the much-anticipated ban on microbeads. These are the harmful microplastics that were present in toothpaste, scrubs and face wash in the past
- Tax on the use of plastic bags since 2015 which resulted in 9 billion fewer plastic bags being circulated
- Ban on the use of plastic straws and bottles from Royal Estate by the order of “Queen of England”
A 25-year plan was launched by the UK Government which aims to “set the global gold standard” on eliminating plastic, according to environment minister Michael Gove. A landmark step against plastic usage by the Brits.
- State-wide bans have been imposed on the utilization of single-use plastic bags in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.
- Coles and Woolworths, the supermarket giants in Australia have stopped using single-use plastic bags at their stores
The fact is that OZ’s are the world’s second largest plastic waste producer next only to America. With an estimated usage of 5 billion plastic bags every year, the ban seems an imminent solution to stop the plastic pollution.
Indians create over 25k tonnes of plastic wastage every year with only 9% of it being recycled and the rest polluting our planet. As far as plastic waste is concerned, we must re-think our strategies on the use of plastic items or ban them completely.
- Maharashtra has completely banned single-use plastic and our PM Narendra Modi has pledged to eliminate such plastic from India by 2022
- “No straws attached” a home-grown campaign launched by a trio from Gurugram. The campaign is an amazing initiative spreading awareness about the plastic straws and urging restaurants & cafe owners to stop using these straws. Get inspired by reading about their story here: https://yourstory.com/2018/01/say-no-plastic-straws/
Be a part of this initiative by joining their social media pages
- Another story is of Aditya Mukherjee, a young boy looking to replace 50k single-use straws with the eco-friendly ones
- Paper straws are being manufactured and sold by the organization Pappco India
- A duo in Mumbai has started an initiative called Shunva where they sell bamboo straws
- Following complaints against the illegal burning of plastic waste, NGT or national Green Tribunal introduced a complete ban on single-use plastic items in New Delhi. This includes a ban on cutlery, cups, bags and other plastic products.
These are some of the many stories on Indians fight against single-use plastic. While we may choose to ignore but the reality is that our planet needs such stories and these heroes to inspire and spread awareness.
- Kenya fines a hefty $38,000 or up to 4-years in jail if anyone is found producing, selling or purchasing the plastic bags
- Canada banned or stopped the use of plastic microbeads forever with only non-prescription drugs 7 few health products allowed its use
- A complete ban was announced on the use of plastic cutlery, cups and plates from 2020 onwards in France. The first of its kind.
Doing your bit for the environment Clearly, the world is getting affected by plastic abuse and they are acting strongly against it. These countries and cities have some inspiring stories that urge everyone to join the movement. Plastic straws and other single-use plastic products bring more negatives than positives to our planet. So, this generation is urged to put an end to this abuse and start adopting measures for a better future. Doing your bit for the environment is more necessary today