Plastic waste


Humans produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material.

Around 180 governments on 10th May 2019 agreed on a new UN accord to regulate the export of plastic waste, some eight million tonnes of which ends up in the oceans each year.

The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.

Plastic pollution is equal to the weight of humans
Facts-Plastic-Pollution

More than 99% of plastic is produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal- all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources.
If current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.

Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled about 12% has been increased, while the rest – 79% has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the natural environment

Which is the most common form of the Plastic?

Cigarette butts- whose filters contain tiny plastic fibers- were the most common type of plastic waste found in the environment in a recent global survey.
Drinking bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, drink lids, straws, and stirrers were the next most common item.

Human uses these products every day, without even thinking about where they might end up.


Did u know?
Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and the thrown away.
Rising in plastic use since the 1950s



Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material.
From the 1950s to the 70s, only a small amount of plastic was produced, so plastic waste was relatively manageable. But by 1990s, a plastic waste generation had more than tripled in two decades, following a similar rise in plastic production. And then in the early 2000s, plastic waste rose in a single decade it had in the previous 40 years.
Plastic pollution is killing oceans organisms

There are micro-organisms in the sea and they produce 10% of the world’s oxygen. They are under threats because of the increasing amount of plastic in the ocean.

Prochlorococcus – A photosynthetic organism – they are capable of photosynthesis; they are widely available o Earth and help by carbon cycling. It is also a source of food for marine species. However, the plastic has threatened the organism.
In recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, Biology scientists study the effects of plastic on these micro-organisms.
They found two different types of plastic – Grey plastic grocery bags and PVC matting which was left in seawater for five days. This process leached chemicals from the Plastic, which was then used testing.
They found that plastic affects the organism’s growth, the way they conduct photosynthesis and their genes. The study says that if they are affected, then the larger community of plankton will also be affected on a larger scale.
Plastic has been estimated to cause $13 billion in economic damages, however, the effect on these micro-organisms will incomparable.
Use of plastic in India
India consumes an estimated 1.6 million of plastic annually, 43% is plastic manufactured for single-use packaging material that will mostly find its way into garbage bins.
In all, 80% of total plastic produced in India is discarded according to the report in Down to Earth that cites data provided by PlastIndia Foundation.
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Plastic waste ends up choking landfills, drains, and rivers which flows into the sea where it is ingested by marine animals. It leaches into soil and water contaminating the natural environment with poisonous dioxins.
An estimate shows over 60% of about 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste generated daily. This huge amount of trash is being released into the environment especially through Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghan river system.
This river system is on the UN map of 10 rivers worldwide that collectively carry the bulk of the plastic waste into the ocean.
India consumes and produced Much more plastic than It reports
Only 14 of India’s 35 regional pollution boards filed information on plastic waste generation in 2017-18, according to the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Thus, the CPCB estimate of plastic waste generated in India in 2017-18 – 660,787.85 tonnes, enough to fill 66,079 trucks at 10 tonnes a truck does not reflect the situation in more than 60% of India’s states and Union Territories.
In 2016-17 too, CPCB received these from only 25 regional pollution boards. The total plastic waste generation fugues for that year was estimated at 1.6 million tonnes or 160,000 truckfuls.

The CPCB has approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to enforce the implementation of the plastic waste management ruled by non-compliant states.
On March 12, 2019, the NGT ordered all of them to ensure that reports are furnished to CPCB by April 30, 2019.
Failure is to be punished with a penalty of Rs 1 crore per month, to be paid to the CPCB, the NGT stated.
These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become integral to our daily lives.
Plastic wastes have been threatening to the climate, oceans, plants, birds, and drinking water as it is included in daily use products.
The most devastating elements of this pollution are that the plastic takes thousands of year decay. As a result, fish and wildlife are becoming intoxicated. Consequently, the toxins from the plastics have entered the food chain threatening human health. Humans are the primary source of producing and using plastics.
US’s Berkeley Lab creates PDK, a fully Recyclable Plastic

In the USA a team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has designed a fully recyclable plastic which can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level.

The Discovery was reported in journal named – Nature Chemistry
Scientist have created a next-generation plastic that can be fully recycled into new material of any form, shape or colour without any loss of performance or quality.

The name of newly created recycled plastic is POLY (Diketoenamine), or PDK.
The function of Poly Diketoenamine or PDK

Scientists have discovered a new way to assemble plastic which unlike earlier takes recycling into consideration from a molecular perspective. It means that this recyclable plastic can be disassembled into its constituent parts at molecular level.

Unlike conventional plastic, the monomers which make PDK plastic could be easily recovered and freed from any compounded additives just by dunking the plastic material in a highly acidic solution.
The acid then breaks down PDK polymers into monomers and also allows monomers to be separated from entwined chemical additives that give plastic its actual look and feel.
Way forward
There are certain ways to reduce plastic, and there has to be constant efforts. There is no denying that plastic collection has reduced in Bengaluru according to some reports, but there is much more to be done.

Awareness campaigns are constant need
There has to be endless awareness campaign until people rise from slumber to bring owns shopping bags the usefulness of these thin and easily ripped bags are extremely limited. On individual level, with the help of certain influencers, people should stop buying plastic water bottles.
Same goes with straw use, there needs to be an attitude shift to a say no to straws plastic straws.
Technological shift

There is a need to switch from, disposable diapers to the cloth. Or diaper companies should use material which can be degraded easily in an environment without polluting it.
The majority of plastic waste is generated in the kitchen; there can be glass containers/ metal containers at place of the plastic one.
Addressing the issue of Waste Plastic

Waste plastic from packaging of everything from food, cosmetics, and groceries to goods delivered by online platforms remains unaddressed.
Municipal Authorities should change working
It will take a paradigm shift in the manner in which waste is collected and handled by municipal authorities to change this.
Proper implementation of the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 are clear that producers, importers and brand owners must adopt a collect-back system for the plastic they introduce into the environment.
Although the rules were notified in the same year, amended later and given high visibility by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, not much has been done to take the process forward.
Local Bodies should be more involved

At the very least, local bodies should consult manufacturers or importers to assess the problem.

Extended Producer Responsibility
Delaying such a measure has created the anomalous situation of small producers of plastics facing the ban, while more organized entities covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility clause continue with business as usual.

There are more thousands of ways to control plastic pollution. Comprehensive plans are needed to spread awareness among people to reduce plastic pollution.

What are the international efforts to regulate the plastic pollution?
Basel Convention

The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.

During the Basel Conference of the Parties from 29 April to 10 May 2019, Governments amended the Basel Convention to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework which will make global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated, whilst also ensuring that its management is safer for human health and the environment.

At the same time, a new Partnership on Plastic Waste was established to mobilise business, government, academic and civil society resources, interests and expertise to assist in implementing the new measures, to provide a set of practical supports – including tools, best practices, technical and financial assistance

NATIONALISM OF VIVEKANAND

 “At Cape Camorin sitting in Mother Kumari’s temple, sitting on the last bit of Indian rock—I hit upon a plan: We are so many sanyasis wandering about, and teaching the people metaphysics—it is all madness. Did not our Gurudeva use to say, ‘An empty stomach is no good for religion?’ We as a nation have lost our individuality and that is the cause of all mischief in India. We have to raise the masses”

This is what Swami Vivekananda has said about the “vision of one India” he had while meditating on the “last bit of Indian rock” (later known as the Narendra Roc Memorial) at Kanyakumari. Moved by the miserable conditions of Indian masses he infused in them the sense of service and self sacrifice towards Motherland India.

            “I am an Indian and every Indian is my brother.” “The ignorant Indian, the poor and destitute Indian, the Brahmin Indian, the pariah Indian is my brother.” “The Indian is my brother, the Indian is my life, India’s gods and goddesses are my God, India’s society is the cradle of my infancy, the pleasure garden of my youth, the sacred heaven, the Varanasi of my old age.” “The soil of India is my highest heaven; the good of India is my good.” These were some of the utterances of the patriotic saint Swami Vivekananda that fostered among Indians a consciousness of their identity as a Nation.

            Though growth of Nationalism is attributed to the Western influence but Swami Vivekananda’s nationalism is deeply rooted in Indian spirituality and morality. He contributed immensely to the concept of nationalism in colonial India and played a special role in steering India into the 20th Century. His influence on the youth of 20th century is iconic.

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta, on 12th January, 1863 to Bhuvaneswari Devi and Vishwanath Dattawas a monk and chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the world stage during the late 19th century.

Dr. Radhakrishnan has observed “Nationalism is a political religion which stirs the hearts and wills of men and rouses them to service and self sacrifice in a way that no purely religious movements have done in recent times.” Much before this observation Swami Vivekananda stirred the hearts and minds of Indians with enthusiasm for strength and fearlessness; ready for service and self sacrifice for nation.

            Swami Vivekananda’s nationalism is associated with spiritualism. He linked India’s regeneration to her age-old tradition of spiritual goal. He said, “Each nation has a destiny to fulfil, each nation has a message to deliver, each nation has a mission to accomplish. Therefore we must have to understand the mission of our own race, the destiny it has to fulfil, the place it has to occupy in the march of nations, the role which it has to contribute to the harmony of races”. His nationalism is based on Humanism and Universalism, the two cardinal features of Indian spiritual culture. He taught people to get rid first of self inflicted bondages and resultant miseries.

The nature of his nationalism is not materialistic but purely spiritual, which is considered to be the source of all strength of Indian life. Unlike western nationalism which is secular in nature, Swami Vivekananda’s nationalism is based on religion which is life blood of the Indian people. Deep concern for masses, freedom and equality through which one expresses self, spiritual integration of the world on the basis of universal brotherhood and “Karmyoga” a system of ethics to attain freedom both political and spiritual through selfless service make the basis of his nationalism.

His writings and speeches evoked magical effect. His words not only agitated mind of Indians but also enkindled love for the motherland. He established motherland as the only deity to be worshiped in the mind and heart of countrymen.

He galvanized the National Spirit by exposing the British policy of profiteering in complete disregard to the Indian interests. Explaining   European colonial plans in Indian perspective, he demoralized British rulers. He popularized the nationalist movement that swept the country and a new India emerged. As he said, “Let a new India arise out of the peasant’s cottage grasping the plough; out of the hearts of the fisherman, the cobbler and the sweeper. Let her spring from the grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from the marts and from the markets. Let her emerge from the groves and forests, from the hills and mountains”

Courage and determination instilled by Swami Vivekananda’s speeches and writings in agitating minds and hearts of Indians to face all eventualities against all opposition were nurtured by Aurbindo Ghosh over the generation. This Indian mindset ready for supreme sacrifice provided the launching pad for success of Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom movement based on “Ahimsa” and “Satyagrah.”

Swami Vivekananda saw the spirituality as point of convergence for all religious forces of diverse India capable of unifying into a national current. Like Vivekananda, Aurbindo Ghosh and Mahatma Gandhi also realized that religion and spirituality are in the veins of Indians and worked for India’s unification through awakening the force of religion and spirituality.

His speech at Chicago in 1893 established him as the greatest figure in the Parliament of World Religions and India as the Mother of religion.  Greeting the youngest of the nations on behalf of “the most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance” SwamiVivekananda quoted two illustrative passages from the “Shiva mahimna stotram“: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!” and “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me.”

 Despite the brevity of his speech, it voiced the spirit and sense of universality of the Parliament. His other speeches too at the Parliament had the common theme of universality, emphasizing religious tolerance

 Since the onset of 21st Century, the world is in turmoil and passing through transition period of a kind. At this hour of human history the message of Swami Vivekananda promoting  spiritual integration of the nation and world on the basis of universal brotherhood and  goodwill becomes all the more relevant. It has the potential to avert wars ensuring peaceful co-existence of   individuals and nations.

State of the Union

Prime minister’s address to the nation in the context of tectonic shift in J&K political arena,it was pertinent to allay the fear of not only people of J&K but also those citizens who enjoy special treatment under constitutional framework (Editorial,”state of the Union”August 10).

For people of J&k ,it seems their fight for saving art 370 will now transform into restoration of full statehood.without normalcy,early election and statehood will be a distant dream.Even early election may pose threat to establishing peace due to chances of state coercion and rigging.overall people of J&k have to wait for quite time.

NRC: A DISASTER IN MAKING

It is not far from truth if India will witness a deadly wounds in its both shoulders. On one side  burning Kashmir issue is going to ignite in upcoming days at the same time a great humanitarian crisis in Assam is disaster in making.it will be a great internal security challenge for India as well as huge geo political challenge for whole south Asian region.

Take for example issue of NRC , after completion of second phase of declaration of NRC,no one knows what will be the possible scenarios for those who found their name excluded from this list. In the absence of any bilateral or global norms for treatment to be mated on these people, they will be forced to spent their life in inhuman detention camp.In any way neither Bangladesh ,whose population density is already more than 800 nor Myanmar are going to accept these people. Even the logistic cost of putting in detention camp impose heavy burden on exchequer of India at the same time the soft power of India will be dented because of its claim of historic refugee treatment.

Whatever Government claims , NRC is not free from loopholes.we have witnessed many such instances where by forged documents , illegal migrants succeeded in getting their name included where as many legitimate citizens are excluded. State should clearly understand that EXCLUSION ERROR is more dangerous and inhuman than INCLUSION ERROR.

Another issue emerged regarding indigenous tribes like LEPCHA who are also migrants but they could not produce any documents for their origin. They are own people. Like them many migrants from Eastern India, Bengali are also deserving their name in NRC ,but they wouldn’t. Excluding these legitimate people out of NRC is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater .

So government should plan in advance to tackle this issue by giving enough attention on it vis a vis Kashmir issue. We can’t afford a second wound in our body , otherwise it will become ULSAR.

Illegal immigration is an emotive issue
throughout the region and needs to be
tackled with wisdom and maturity. Issues
related to people who are finally excluded
from the NRC  will have to be well thought-out because a large excluded population could be vulnerable to exploitation and become a security risk. The hasty introduction of legislation like the
Citizenship Amendment Bill, without prior
political consensus, could reignite identity
fears and lead to violence.

Dr Rahi Masoom Raza

मेरा नाम मुसलमानों जैसा है

मुझ को क़त्ल करो और मेरे घर में आग लगा दो

मेरे उस कमरे को लूटो जिसमे मेरी बयाने जाग रही है और

मै जिसमे तुलसी की रामायण से सरगोशी करके कालिदास के मेघदूत से यह कहता हू

मेरा भी एक सन्देश है !

मेरा नाम मुसलमानों जैसा है

मुझ को क़त्ल करो और मेरे घर में आग लगा दो

लेकिन मेरी रग़-रग़ में गंगा का पानी दौड़ रहा है

मेरे लहू से चुल्लू भर महादेव के मुह पर फेको और

उस महादेव से कह दो- महादेव अब इस गंगा को वापस ले लों

यह जलील तुर्कों के बदन में गढ़ा गया लहू बनकर दौड़ रही है