We come across these news reports every other day, with alarming frequency. A whale dying because it ate plastic, a dolphin that didn’t survive because it had the rim of the cap of a plastic bottle stuck to its mouth, a turtle getting stuck in a fishing net…The list is endless. Countless marine animals are washing across the shore every day. A Plymouth University study found out that at least 700 marine species are affected by plastic pollution, not to mention the innumerable ones on land who are also suffering. The reason? Our constant usage and reckless disposal of plastic, especially single-use plastic that is ending up in landfills and in the ocean.
Which is why Srimanthudu star Shruti Haasan’s recent Instagram post should come as a powerful wake-up call for us. She posted a photo of Juhu beach in Mumbai with the plastic washing up on the shore. She wrote: “This is the state of Juhu beach because of all the plastic stuck in the ocean that washes up:( so so terrible 💔”. The photo is indeed heart-breaking and alarming at the same time. The pretty actor also shut a troll, who asked her whether she has stopped using plastic, up like a boss. Shruti replied: “Yes I do not use plastic and I re cycle as well.”
Hats off to Shruti for that. But just a few individuals being environmentally conscious and shunning plastic is not enough. We need to all collectively restrict and reduce our usage of plastic and decrease our carbon footprint considerably so that we can stop the damage we are inflicting to the environment. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite easy. For instance, you can go back to how our parents did things and carry your own bag when you are out shopping instead of asking for plastic bags. When you are out, carry a bottle of water instead of stopping to buy a bottle each time you feel thirsty and then throwing them away. Disposable coffee cups are another big no no. Go for a matti kundi instead. Want to know another simple hack? Say no to straws. Sip your coffee or cola directly. It’s an item that you can easily do away with instead of letting them fill up the oceans and the landfills.