I remember when I was young, my Amma would fetch groceries from Tharagupet once in a month. Those groceries were packed in cones made of old newspaper. Every grocery shop had a guy who was to do the “Patnna” (the old newspaper rolled in the form of a cone) and the groceries packet was secured by tying it with “Sutli Dhara” (Jute Twine). In those times they were not so conscious about environment, as they never breached the code of harmonious living. Now with loads of information on the environment and its hazard we are least bothered to look for means to protect.
All of a sudden, one day, we chose plastics carry bags. It did not take long to shift from the old newspaper “patnna” to plastic bags. The convenience was to be blamed. It is not only the urban belt but in the rural areas too we see them littered everywhere. These plastics come in all forms sachets, tubes, packets, polythene, etc. It is everywhere on the roads, in the field, floating in the lakes, every lane and every neighbourhood almost every landscape is littered with shining plastic. We are now unaware of what has to be done with them. They have become invincible and remain the same as they are not degradable. They are turning the fertile soil into toxic land; blocking the rain water streams and drainage flooding the metropolis during rains.
Plastic packets are consumed with the leftover food by the animals which eat them. Added to this we have packed water bottles and plates and cups which land up on the street. They are littered everywhere my entire country is become a grand garbage dump of plastic. We are producing tons of plastic and they have nowhere to go but to adore our landscapes. With this rate of producing plastic soon it may be difficult to find a place free from plastic litter.
At our homes gone are those days when we would have wooden or steel chairs for the guests to sit on. We have replaced them with plastic chairs, yes for aesthetic look. According to me, if I sit on a plastic chair I feel slippery and they create weird sounds when I move. I have a friend who has an eatery here in Bengaluru, earlier the joint was serving in steel plates but now they are using plastic plates and plastic spoons. When I questioned my friend about it, he says it is working out cheap and he does not have to bother on the helpers to clean the plates nor has he got to spend on the dishwasher detergents and water supply bills.
We consider ourselves fortunate to have savoured the fruits of modern technology, without having to undergo any pain to gain it. Technology has been always imposed on us gradually we inherit it, and than we assume that without it we cannot live. Technology is not the only answer to better our comfort levels, it has its own by-products which could be unpleasant too. Also sometimes the advantages of modern technology depend on how we use it. To be in a position to use it appropriately, we need to be a mature country.
Plastic is the result of modern technology and is very useful. Equally enough they pose a great threat to our environment. It requires maturity to handle it and dispose it. While we have inherited these fruits, we haven’t got a chance to inherit the maturity. I wonder if maturity could also be bought as the groceries my Amma would fetch from Tharagupet.
Our celebrities are busy concerned about Padmavathi than Plastic....!