top of page

India: Time to end the addiction to throwaway plastics: This is as pressing a problem as climate cha

Plastic is of course a miracle material, and the growth of our use of plastics to the current proportions reflects its incredible utility. It’s invaluable in preserving food in our kitchens, the stuff of medical breakthroughs and a key part of the latest renewable energy technology. If plastics use were confined to these positive uses alone, there would be no problem. Unfortunately, we have a planetary addiction to the very worst types of plastic: the kind that is used for a few minutes or seconds and then discarded.

The numbers alone are alarming: an estimated 12 million tonnes of it enter our oceans every year, harming plants, animals, coastal communities and entering our food chain. The impact can be seen in every corner of the world. Whales and turtles – the great barometers of ocean and planetary health – are washing up on shores, having choked on plastic bags. Adventurers have spotted lumps of polystyrene packaging floating among the icebergs in the furthest reaches of the Arctic. Even tests on bottled water from all corners of the globe have found microscopic plastic particles in every sample. Our seas, from the depths of the Mariana Trench to almost every beach on earth, are slowly being transformed into a plastic soup.

Sissi de Kroon

bottom of page