New Delhi: A dense forest, alpine meadows, gurgling waterfalls, and crystal clear water flowing through the breathtaking landscape, seems like a picture perfect description of the Himalayan region. Imagine if this just becomes the vision of the past, an extinct dream to be replaced by a horrific reality that a recent viral video depicts. The video that was initially shared by Healing Himalayas – an NGO that is working towards making the mountains plastic free, one trail at a time, shows how a Himalayan river turned into a plastic dump.
The video was received much shock and concern online. Disheartened after seeing the video, actor and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, who has been actively waging a battle against plastic, appealed everyone to wake up to the disaster staring at us all and take up the responsibility to ditch plastic from our lives. Sharing the video on her social platform, she said,
“It’s heartbreaking to see how irresponsible we are with managing our waste.”
Giving solutions on how individuals can help make a difference she said,
“What can I do? #SayNoToSingleUsePlastics. What can you do? Say no to plastic bags/cups/cutlery/bottles. Let’s be better tourists, better citizens of our country. #BeatPlasticPollution”
View Dia Mirza’s Post On How To Give Up Plastic
It’s heartbreaking to see how irresponsible we are with managing our waste… what can I do? #SayNoToSingleUsePlastics
What can you do? Say NO to plastic bags/cups/cutlery/bottles. Let’s be better tourists, better citizens of our country. #BeatPlasticPollution https://t.co/bfvCOyeodu
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) July 17, 2018
The actor also gave netizens a 10-item checklist, which they can totally give up, this includes:
1. Plastic Bags
2. Plastic Straws
3. Plastic Bottles
4. Plastic Cups
5. Plastic/Styrofoam plates, Bowls
6. Plastic Stirrers
7. Plastic Forks, Spoons
8. Plastic Confetti (glitter)
9. Plastic Gift Wrapping
10. Plastic Decorations (Party/Wedding/Festival)
What you can do instead: People can opt for green and eco-friendly products – Swap plastic bags with cotton, jute or canvas bags; plastic straws with paper or steel straw; plastic bottles with steel or a glass bottle; plastic cups, plastic/styrofoam plates, bowls, spoons and forks with eco-friendly alternatives available in the market; plastic gift wrapping with old paper or newspaper wrapping and instead of using plastic decorations opt for upcycling (the process of turning old, unwanted things into new items).
Why It Is Important To Make A Switch From Plastic
India produces a whopping 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste in a year; what’s more, India is also the 12th biggest plastic polluter in the world. According to the experts, by 2020, our country will become the third largest plastic consumer in the world, so there will be a lot more plastic waste in the making and circulation.
So, as an individual it all boils down to us – to save the planet from drowning in plastic, we all need to reduce our plastic consumption drastically.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.