The population of Central Asia is about 73 million. If we assume that one plastic bag per person is disposed off per day in this region it will come to 401.5 tons of plastic bag garbage every day, or close to 150000 tons annually. — The average weight of a plastic bag is about 5.5 grams.
This is absolutely bare minimum, unrealistic estimate. Every day we throw away an impressive number of plastic bags, wrappings, packing material, disposable crockery, bottles, and just about everything else that is a part of our use-and-dispose lifestyle.
Perhaps a realistic estimate of the plastic garbage being disposed in Central Asia every year will be some 600000 tons, perhaps much more. Someone has to study the issue in a region-wide survey.
There is hardly the need to remind that plastics take up to 1000 years to disintegrate, but they don’t just disappear. As they turn into smaller and smaller pieces in the wilderness, they become more dangerous. Ultimately, they turn into very tiny particles and find their way into our water, food and air – we breathe, drink and eat plastic, and it will keep increasing with each passing year unless every one of us starts doing something about it right now, completely and totally right now.
Alarmed by the ominous invasion of plastics, I decided last week to start my personal war against the plastic bags.
When going for a bit of shopping, I took a drawstring backpack with me. At every shop I respectfully declined their plastic bags and put everything into the backpack.
The bag was quite easy to carry, either in hand or slung over the shoulder. Either way, it felt easier than carrying eight assorted plastic bags that cut mercilessly into the hand.
This is what I could easily fit into the backpack and there was still room for half as much, perhaps more.
In this single trip, I managed to prevent the accumulation of the plastic pollution in the atmosphere by 44 grams. Without the backpack I would have briefly used and discarded 8 plastic bags. It hardly makes a difference but it is still much better than just complaining about the plastic debris degrading our environment without doing anything about it.
If you are to start your personal battle against plastic bags, the drawstring backpack or tote bag or just about any other kind of bag can be your weapon of choice. /// nCa, 29 October 2018
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In case you are wondering about the enormity of the problem, here are two graphics:
Just Google ‘plastic pollution’ and you will find plenty of material to put the fear of plastic in your heart. /// nCa, 29 October 2018