Is there a substitute for plastic bags?
A number of debates are being held on the subject, 'banning use of plastic bags'. Media has also been reporting once a while about the need for banning use of plastic bags and to use better environment friendly bags.
All residential and commercial establishments including industrial establishments, public places like railways, bus services, airports and sea route voyages, all rely on use of plastics on an everyday basis. Therefore, the per capita consumption of plastics could be pretty high as of now and therefore the talk of ‘banning use of plastics’ should also be followed by usage of better viable substitutes. Glass bottles, butter paper wrapping, tetra packs can be considered as better substitutes for plastics.
Through one medium of transport known as Railways, it has been found that plastic trash are thrown out of the windows and doors and other outlets in many passenger/Express/Mail/Super Fast trains. This is happening almost throughout the length and breadth of railway services available in the country (alternatively, it can be said that throughout the entire stretch of railway lines). Trains pass through so many villages and one can see litters of plastics in plenty in so many open/agricultural fields which are close/ adjacent to the railway tracks. Out of the total plastic trash thrown on an everyday basis, trains could prove to be a significant contributor.
The concerned ministry can do well to ponder on this issue deeply for coming out with some good viable solutions. One option could be introducing trash cans in every passenger compartment and encouraging passengers to use the same. Once the trash cans gets filled up, the mechanism should be such that it is replaced with an empty one immediately - therefore, home cleaning staff need to be recruited in big numbers who should be allowed to travel in each passenger train to take care of these bins. Strict directives should be issued for the passengers not to throw trash plastic bags out of the train in any manner.
It will be interesting to take a note of the recent developments on this issue whereby Coca-Cola has introduced in Central America a biodegradable plastic bag in the shape of a Coke bottle; this bag saves buyers bottle deposit money and retains the drink's fizz and experience, while simultaneously being more environmental friendly.