Plastic Free July, started initially for the said month alone, has become a means to encourage people to stop the use of specific plastics forever. Once individuals realize the magnitude of the plastics problem, they are bound to discontinue the mindless use of plastics. To take up the challenge users have to first register themselves with the campaign and then opt for the specific plastic s/he wants to avoid. The items could be plastic bags, bottles, straws or coffee cups. The user also gets to choose the days or months for which s/he has to continue with the boycott.
Post News Network
Bhubaneswar: Plastic pollution is a problem with long-term harmful consequences for the environment. The government has decided to ban plastic bags, polythene and single-use plastic in the state from October keeping these in mind. However, awareness is essential to discourage use of plastics, and ‘Choose to Refuse’, a campaign started by the international movement for environment conservation Plastic Free July is a step in that direction.
Plastic Free July, started initially for the said month alone, has become a means to encourage people to stop the use of specific plastics forever. Once individuals realize the magnitude of the plastics problem, they are bound to discontinue the mindless use of plastics.
In India the campaign was started a year ago; people are required to take part in the Plastic Free July challenge and attempt to reduce their plastic consumption for a month initially. To take up the challenge users have to first register themselves with the campaign and then opt for the specific plastic s/he wants to avoid. The items could be plastic bags, bottles, straws or coffee cups. The user also gets to choose the days or months for which s/he has to continue with the boycott.
Several people from Bhubaneswar are participating in the campaign and avoiding the use of plastics in their daily lives and are also updating their progress on social media.
Neelima Mishra, a Consultant to the Government of Odisha and a sustainability champion from the city, has registered for the campaign with Plastic Free July that originated as a local community initiative in Australia in 2011.
“I have signed up for one month and will try to avoid four major single-use plastics: Plastic bags, plastic bottles, straws and cutlery throughout July. It is said habits are formed by completing a task for 21 days in a row,” Neelima said.
Through daily social media updates, Neelima is making many people aware of the harm caused by single-use plastic to our lives and the environment. Her narratives highlight how by changing some of our habits and mindsets we can avoid the use of disposable plastics, as our previous generation used to.
For example, carrying shopping bags to stores, carrying own containers to get takeaways, reducing takeaways, refusing straws at coffee joints, avoiding heavily packaged items from online shopping sites unless absolutely necessary, replacing plastic toothbrushes with a toothbrush of bamboo handle, using newspaper bin liners rather than the single-use black bin liners, minimising the use of sachets and buying bulk products, composting one’s daily kitchen waste, recycling and upcyling are some of the tips and tricks Neelima has shared.
She says she does not eat at joints where food is served on styrofoam plates with plastic spoons. She added that such steps taken by individuals will definitely bring a healthy change for the environment, whether the single use plastic ban is effectively enforced in the state or not.
As Plastic Free July comes to an end, she has started the tag game to see whether her posts have brought about positive behavioural change.
Many have accepted the challenge following her example and are clicking selfies with reusable alternatives and tagging others on social media.
Pritipadma Mishra, a professional from Cuttack based out of Pune, shares that she now uses reusable cloth bags for shopping and is reusing plastic containers as planters.
Priyanka Nanda, an engineer from Bhubaneswar based out of Sweden, has posted photographs of how her family has moved from single-use plastic bottles to stainless steel bottles for travel and office usage.
Janmejaya Mohapatra, Managing Director of Ajatus Software, has posted his shift from packaged water bottles to reusable drinking bottles. He also gone a step ahead and implemented the no single-use plastic policy in office, encouraging employees to carry Earth-friendly products.
Arindam Ganguly, OP