Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Physician heal thyself …Plastics

Physician heal thyself …

In the village I used to tell children not to throw away the plastic wrappers from the hard boiled sweets I used to get them. I would scold them and make them pick up the wrappers and put them away in another cover. When the village people going to the weekly santa (village market for provisions and vegetables) started bringing back their weekly provisions in a plastic cover got there, instead of their cloth bags, I would give them short lectures on the evil of plastics. They are polite, civilized, and would listen earnestly.

I had a plastic cover at home where I used to cram all my plastic waste, for ‘proper disposal’. The plastic waste I generated was as much as all the village put together ! I was the only one who bought tea (in the usual aluminium foil and paper packaging), regular dals (pre packaged in the usual plastic), branded oil (in the usual plastic wrapper), and much else. All these plastic covers accumulated. The villager people only buy smaqll weekly quantities loose in the santa – wrapped in newspaper, tied with thread.

The damage I unleashed was far more than all of theirs together. My moral superiority was also far higher than their. ( And I did not face that there is no ‘proper disposal’ of plastic. I could just move it out of my village into another small town !)

I represent the 'concerned' citizen. The 'educated' citizen.
 Radhika Rammohan Aparna I agree that their austerity is not the compulsion of poverty alone However, this kind of "trash" for which as you point out there is no proper disposal, is pretty new to Indians. And so whatever be the quantum of plastics generated, we don't seem to have much intuition about how to deal with it. Just speculating here that the poor will happily strew it around, probably because they intuitively know there's no "away" to throw it to, and the notion of "litter" therefore becomes more an aesthetic one! It's such an unnatural thing it needs a lot of unnatural education to figure out how to deal with it -- like segregate, recycle etc!

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