Plastic smiles do not evoke sentiments. The fact that plastic is artificial has made it the latest social taboo, despite it being one of mankind’s most used utilities which cannot be shunned for a better alternative, just yet.
Plastic being non-biodegradable, can have one of two conclusions – either add to the planet’s massive garbage reserves, or get recycled and get back into use in some other form. Since the first option scares an increasingly ecology-conscious generation, which has been campaigning and lobbying with governments worldwide to shun the use of plastics wherever possible, the second option – of recycling – still manages to get widespread acceptance, given that the all-pervading usage of plastic in our lives is yet to find a credible eco-friendly alternative, which will allow us to stand up and say a firm NO to the chemical concoction, fearing diverse side effects or just the avoidable plastic pollution.
From tender cling films and sandwich bags to gigantic gasoline drums – they all form our daily skyline. They all vary in their chemical composition, and hence in their utilities and characteristics. Just the way apples and oranges are different fruits, plastics too have seven broad types, which in more ways than one, determine to what extent they can be recycled and put back into use. So, a lump of used cling film and a crumpled sandwich bag cannot be recycled alongwith a hard and gruff-looking gasoline drum. Neither can a feeding bottle and a plastic PVC pipe be recycled together. Itemised discretion in plastic recycling is almost as important as being particular about injecting the right blood group with the right rhesus factor into the patient who needs it.
Plastic recycling helps, provided the user community plays its role in following an instinctive sorting process while trashing its plastic items after use. The more we sort now, the less will be our need of fresh plastic to be produced, leaving the world cleaner by an iota. Now, isn’t that desirable, in the planet’s interests?