International Plastic Bag Free Day 2023 | Taking a glimpse into India's severe plastic waste problem
Plastic bags have become ubiquitous in our daily lives. Their widespread popularity can be traced to their prodigious production, cost-effectiveness, water resistance and durability.
Despite their usefulness, the undeniable fact of their harm on the environment cannot be ignored. Today, with global plastic pollution reaching unprecedented levels, its detrimental effects have become more apparent than ever.
In recognition of this pressing issue, the International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed annually on June 3 since 2008. This dedicated day serves as a platform to raise awareness about the destructive consequences of single-use plastic bags on our environment.
India alone generates 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually
Despite intermittent bans imposed by the central and state governments on plastic bag usage, the issue of plastic waste has continued to worsen in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic escalated this problem, with the production of plastic waste experiencing a significant surge.
This was primarily due to the widespread use of plastic in the production of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, face shields, and disposable masks. Additionally, the necessity to reduce the transmission of the virus made the use of single-use plastics unavoidable during this period.
Ministry of Earth Sciences urges citizens to use alternatives to plastic bags
On the occasion of International Plastic Bag Free Day, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India took to twitter, stating "On #InternationalPlasticBagFreeDay, let's join forces to tackle the immense environmental impact of plastic bags. By adopting sustainable alternatives and embracing eco-friendly choices, we can create a healthier future for all."
As responsible citizens, we can take steps to reduce plastic pollution by using readily available alternatives to single-use plastics. These alternatives include paper bags, cotton bags, mesh bags, and canvas bags.