Plastic Ban - Environment vs Economy

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5 people are having a discussion on the topic (Amanda, Ben, Chris, David, Emily). The GD topic is Plastic Ban - Environment vs Economy


Category: Science, Technology, Social


Group Discussion Starts

Amanda: Good morning friends. The gd topic for today is plastic ban- environment vs economy. We are all aware that plastic is surely affecting our environment at a rapid pace. And as per me banning plastic is one of the most important steps that countries should take.


David: Hi. We all are aware that plastic is harmful and takes 500-1000 years to decompose which is causing a lot of problem in our environment. But is it that easy to simply ban plastic. According to me, banning plastic can only be a solution if we have viable alternate solution.


Chris: So does this mean we keep polluting our lakes and rivers? Plastic has ease of use but has polluted and damaged our environment significantly. According to reports more than one million birds and marine animals die because of plastic. At this rapid rate, we would end up losing all our marine life causing a huge ecological imbalance.


Emily: I agree. A lot of animals who have died have come across the shore with kilos of plastic in their stomach. And this is just tip of the iceberg. Every major city has several acres of landfill dump which are filled with plastic and toxins. These are polluting the air, water and causing several diseases as well. Hence plastic should be immediately banned.


Ben: It is very easy to say that we should ban plastic. But do we realise that we are surrounded by plastic? Mobile phone bodies, car dashboard, packaged food, medical equipment etc are all made of plastic because of their low cost, long durability and high volume manufacturing.  We use plastic each and every single day through various products, replacing which would be extremely challenging.

image:pixabay


David: My point exactly. Global market of plastics is expected to reach USD 650+ billion by 2020 with the majority of the consumption in countries like China, India and Brazil. Owing to a huge growing population, the need for using plastic at a consumer level is increasing. From packaged food to lamination to carry bags all are objects of utility.


Amanda: But if properly planned we can use alternatives. We can use steel utensils and lunch boxes, we can use paper and cloth bags, we can use wooden goods and gradually replace the plastic. More than 500 billion plastic bags which are used annually worldwide should be replaced by cloth bags. All these small things would eventually make a difference.


Chris: Yes. The only way to save the environment is to stop usage of plastic at the earliest.


Ben: But are the alternatives of plastic that cheap or easily available or that durable? The answer as of today is no. A few decades back people used glass bottles for beverages which got converted to plastic PET bottles. This is because they were cheap, could be produced at high volume and was also easier for the consumer. Hence we would need to reintroduce older or better products to give the people an option.


David: Yes even I think the same. However, some obvious plastics items can definitely be avoided like straws, glass covers, plastics to cover solid goods etc. But banning plastic at manufacturer level would require more R&D.


Emily: I disagree. An action must be taken immediately to stop further degradation of the environment and oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. It is so big that it is bigger than many cities in the world.


Chris: One report also claimed that the toxins produced by plastics have been founds in our bodies. More than 90% of the people had traces of plastic present in their blood as well which causes illness as well as other defects in the human body. So apart from the environment, plastic has proved to be a harmful component even for human life.


David: All said and done, plastic in the long run is harmful and should be reduced. The first step of banning plastic should be drastic reduction in plastic wherever possible. Steel utensils, cloth bags, rubber materials etc should be used as an alternate to plastic.


Emily: Also, people should reuse whatever plastic bottles or boxes are with them. Packaging material should be plastic free and rubber based materials can be used. Similarly, restaurants should not serve plastic cutlery, straws etc.


Ben: In a lot of places, plastic has been used in making roads, platforms, bricks etc. This doesn’t eliminate plastic but puts it to good use.


Conclusion

Over the years plastic has been a very cheap and durable product with a strong presence in every industry and consumer business. However, with the massive expansion in plastic demand and the inability of the plastic to decompose quickly, it is a serious concern for the environment. Millions of marine life get killed because of plastic. The immediate solution is to ban plastic materials like bags, cutlery etc which can be replaced by steel, cloth, rubber etc. With more research, alternates of plastic can help protect and save the environment.


Facts related to the group discussion

1.Plastic is a 650 billion dollar industry worldwide

2.More than one million marine animals and birds are killed annually

3.It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to decompose and hence it is a permanent pollutant

4.Many plastic related toxins have also been found in humans

5.Global plastic demand stands in excess of 300Million tons every year

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