World Environment Day 2018: Meet the campaigners who are making your city plastic-freehttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/world-environment-day-2018-plastic-pollution-campaigners-5203268/

World Environment Day 2018: Meet the campaigners who are making your city plastic-free

World Environment Day 2018, themed ''Beat Plastic Pollution'' lays bare the concern of plastic choking the environment. While the UN is observing it by spreading awareness on how plastic is a slow killer, here are some front-runners near you who are striving for a plastic-free world.

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World Environment Day 2018: Single-use plastics remain around for thousands of years harming the environment. (Designed by Nidhi Mishra/ Indian Express)

Virtually, all the plastic that has ever been created is still around with the exception of the one that is incinerated. While the need for plastic in our daily life is undeniable, what most people don’t realise is that we are actually making a choice between plastic and the planet. This leads us to ask ourselves, ”Is it really worth the convenience?”

Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body and have been found to alter hormones and cause other potential health effects. This Environment Day, themed ”Beat Plastic Pollution” lays bare the pressing concern of plastic choking the environment. While the UN observes it by spreading awareness and education on how plastic is a slow killer, here are some front-runners near you who are helping the world to be a plastic-free space.

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Gearing up to celebrate the World Environment Day on June 5, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group launched their #laststraw campaign against #patheticplastics. Besides educating people about the dangers of plastic via posters and pamphlets, Chintan has also established a plastics collection point, where potted plants can be exchanged for plastic things. They have also put up a pledge tree, where, as the name suggests, people can promise to break free of plastic.

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The biggest consumers of plastic are restaurants, hospitals and schools, says Gaurav Grover, president of New Delhi Social Workers Association (NDSWA), a prominent Delhi-based NGO. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Grover outlined the importance of a person-to-person connect when it comes to sensitising people against the menace of plastic, to themselves and to their future generations.

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While plastic was originally adopted for its longevity, employing it for a single-time use and then letting it float in waterbodies and littering the land is a poorly struck bargain. Advocating against dangers of single-use plastic like straws, bottles, bags, and cups, Grover quoted some successful switches that NDSWA initiated.

Since restaurants are the biggest industry for plastic usage, they are the first target and many of the high-end places are willing to make the switch from plastic. Guppy, a Japanese restaurant in Lodhi Road, is one such example, who have swapped their single-use plastics for other alternatives. Also, NDSWA aims to educate students on the importance of renouncing plastic and one of their initiatives in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya has borne fruit where students were encouraged to cover their books with newspapers instead of laminated plastic sheets.

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Another NGO that is working towards spreading awareness about the lasting effects of ecological footprints is Waste Less. Besides launching a #kNOwPLASTICS programme this month, they have opted for a fun route to help children become a part of the pollution problem. Integrating the latest scientific research with experimental learning via games and puzzles, Waste Less is inviting people to ”play to reduce plastic use.”

So, what are you doing this Environment Day? Tell us in the comments’ below.