(Last Updated On: January 10, 2013)

We use the term plastics to describe a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic polymerization products. Polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene are largely used in the manufacture of plastics. The property of plastics to be molded into different shapes with various colors and having considerable strength has made them widely popular with all the age groups.

The presence of plastic in the environment is not only a health hazard but also an aesthetic nuisance. Mountains of plastic bottles are manifesting themselves and the poly-bags seem to roll as the rolling weeds in the desert. Is this the world we want to leave for the generations that are to follow?

Though the plastics are considered as biologically inert for the human beings but their impact on the innocent animals is devastating. It’s estimated that about eight million items of litter go into the sea every day, and most of this is plastics. The animals get confused and they consider the plastics as their food and ingest them. Once the plastics enter their systems the animals are subjected to a slow and painful death. To a turtle, for instance, a floating plastic carrier bag might look similar to the jellyfish it might usually eat.

We are literally digging our planet and filling it with plastics in an attempt to dispose them off. The earlier versions of the plastics take around 10,000 to 100,000 years to decompose. Not only this, the time and energy required to recycle the plastics is enormous as it is a labor intensive process with the sorting of plastics being done manually.

Aren’t we smart enough to accept our mistakes and correct them in time to limit the harm being done to the environment? Is it only about our convenience with total disregard to the other living organisms that depend on us for their survival? It is said that with great powers come great responsibilities, it is time that we start acting responsibly.

The only way out of this predicament is to stop using the plastics in places where their substitutes are available. The tourists are the ones which are causing a lot of harm to the environment in this regard by their indiscriminate use of the packaged drinking water and the careless disposal of the plastic bottles and the poly-bags.

We all want our world to be a beautiful place to live in. We can only get it by trying to do our bit and educating the others to follow the green practices. The places that were once pristine and full of nature’s wonders are being polluted with plastics due to our reckless behavior. If this continues for some more time then there will be no holiday getaways left in the world. There is still time left. But I can hear the clock ticking away.