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2.0 New York
Man has existed, exploited all the resources and consumed every part of the Earth since civilization has begun. There have been a lot of changes due to that in atmosphere and climate. Due to the inefficient use of resources, they are getting depleted; there is also a huge scarcity of clean water and wildlife is also getting extinct. The origination of civilization has certainly challenged nature’s survival guide. We have been living recklessly putting the lives of the future generation at stake.
It’s time to see the real picture the way it is; and not the way it is presented by the perilous industries. The generations to come would not have ample useful resources to sustain and the global problems would be a lot more then. This is definitely a very frightening situation we are putting people at and the reason behind it is the thoughtlessness and ignorance of the people. We cannot blame any particular person or an organization when we ourselves are either the producer or the consumer. Staying on either end does not solve the problem. Problem gets larger and scarier when we sit and do nothing about it.
The ongoing global pandemic is like an alarming call for all of us. We need to take this very seriously and carry out methods like:
- Practicing sustainable methods in agriculture, industrialization and production
- Implementing new methods of waste removal and waste management
- Saving the renewable resources from getting depleted
- Preserving the wildlife
- Going entirely organic in consumption and utilization of resources
- Banning single-use plastic completely
The last point here is one of the most relevant steps that we need to take and apply in our lives. Plastic is a toxic substance that is destroying the environment, marine life and wild habitat. The harmful chemicals from plastic are the causes of life-threatening diseases in humans like cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption and others. A large amount of plastic is found in the oceans thereby interfering with the food chain and consumed by the living beings.
Plastic cannot be biodegraded and so it’s just breaking into tiny proportions and getting spread all over the world. Covid-19 is a sign that we start taking into consideration the importance of nature and ban the contaminated plastic from the world.
Plastic bags are one of the most widespread things used today, and the commonality in no way indicates that they are safe to use. There are numerous countries in the world that have already started taking initiatives to eradicate the use of plastic bags, straws and items made of plastic; and in turn, are using other sustainable methods for the preservation of the environment. More than 27 countries have banned single-use plastic items and some of the major locations in the world map that have actively banned the plastic in the year 2019 are:
The U.S has been in the list of topmost countries that have started eradicating plastic and New York is one of the major cities to embrace the cause in 2019. Hawaii was the first to initiate the ban of plastic bags as well as paper bags that contain 40 percent of recycled material, followed by one of the biggest and most flourished states of the nation, New York.
New York has banned plastic bags completely and replaced them with paper bags with the rate of 5 cents be charged for each plastic bag sold at grocery stores, meat places and restaurant takeaway bags. The plastic bags sold must have a line printed on them saying “Please return to a participating store of recycling”. In this way, New York has promoted the reuse, recycling and the reduction of plastic bags. States like North Dakota, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and others in the U.S followed thereafter.
Tanzania in Africa has taken an important step in banning the production, sale and import of the plastic bags to protect the environment and the endangered species. According to the new law, tourists who visit Tanzania for its fascinating wildlife and beautiful tourist spots; are supposed to give away their plastic bags the moment they enter the country. The government there is so strict in its regulations that the fine of $87 or the imprisonment for seven days is the punishment for the possession and consumption of the plastic bags.
The word ‘China’ takes us back to the origin of the Covid-19 situation. Though China managed to get out of the outbreak in a very systematic and subtle way, what is noteworthy is that the country is actively engaging itself in improving the quality of lives of the citizens of China and shunning away the hazardous elements from the country.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the production and sale of plastic items like straws, cups and tableware will be completely banned in China by the end of the year. The huge population in China has created tons of waste over the years with no waste management and recycling methods and the production of plastic has led to 210 million tons of trash in the year 2017.
The food and beverage industry is also going to ban disposable plastic products by the year 2022. Cities like Shanghai and Beijing have also banned the import of foreign waste and have started implementing the latest business models to eradicate plastic use and recycle plastic waste.
Witnessing the current pandemic situation, England has implemented a ban on the plastic straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic stirrers from April 2020. According to Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, this step was essential to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment. According to the CEO of Surfers against Sewage, “Stopping the production and distribution of these single-use plastic menaces will prevent them from polluting beaches nationwide”. The government has also placed U.K tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content.
Canada has managed to implement the ban on plastic products like plastic cutlery, straws, plastic water bottles and drink stirrers. This has definitely created an awakening among the citizens of Canada and they are being more cautious than ever before using plastic products.
Tiny dots make a line. Small steps taken by different countries and cities could make a drastic change in the quality of the air we breathe and the water we consume. Saving wildlife and nature could save the global warming problem. Reduction in the use of hazardous materials and especially banning the plastic is indeed the most prudent decision taken by the government of different countries. Plastic cannot be destroyed but only broken into tiny particles knows as microplastics that either get consumed by humans or end up in seas or oceans which is dangerous either way.
So as the citizens of the global community and the spectator of the existing pandemic, it is our duty towards the current and the future generation to provide them with a fit and clean environment, sufficient resources and healthy life. Banning plastic is just a step, but the most important one. If the ban is taken seriously and led out in an organized and efficient manner across the world, then we might see a different Earth in few years beautified with the adornments of nature.