Recently Maharashtra Government issued a notification banning the manufacture, use, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sales. The ban also covers disposable products, made from plastic and thermocol (polystyrene), such as single-use disposable dishes, cups, plates, glasses, fork, bowl, container, disposable dish/bowl used for packaging food in hotels, spoon, straw, non-woven polypropylene bags, cups/pouches to store liquid, packaging with plastic to wrap or store the products and packaging of food items and grain material.
Since plastic have been such a flexible material to us in our daily life, it is obvious that we need to look for an better alternative to plastic.
Compostable products, popularly known as biodegradable products, are items that will decompose over time and become a beneficial part of the soil. These type of products were introduced in the 1980s and have grown in amount produced, variety and application.
Landfills are overflowing with products that are not compostable. Certain types of plastic and Styrofoam will remain intact for decades and clog up land space that could be put to better usage.
1. Reducing the Volume of Waste
The human race will always produce a certain amount of waste, even under the best of circumstances. Over the past few decades we have learned a lot about reducing, reusing and re-purposing items that we previously had tossed in the garbage without a second thought.
We began to see the error of our ways when new landfills had to be frequently created on prime real estate in order to keep up with the demand of our disposable-minded society.
Convenience food and anything disposable are items we wanted at one time, now the focus has shifted to reducing the volume of waste we create so our planet can be saved for future generations to enjoy.
Fertile Soil on barren landscapes. Food deserts are areas where fresh vegetables and fruits are practically non-existent because the soil is unable to support plant life. The soil in food deserts and barren landscapes have been depleted of natural nutrients and/or used as a dumping ground for industrial and building waste to the point of soil infertility.
People living in the regions are unable to grow fresh food and rely on heavily on fast foods to feed their family. This has contributed to wide spread obesity in the young and old alike and obesity is a major factor in many common diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Compostable products breakdown quickly and can be used as a soil ammendment to increase the fertility of soil in areas that have food deserts so people can come together and plant community gardens and learn how to grow their own healthy food.
Once the soil has been improved enough to support plant life, a cycle of food growing and composting can begin so fresh vegetables and fruits can be grown every year.
3 . Improved Water Quality
Whatever is placed on top of the soil will eventually find its way down into the soil. From there it will move along to the closest water source and ultimately back into our home in the form of tap water.
Pollution in our natural water sources, like lakes and streams, is man-made. Non-compostable items in landfills, backyard trash piles, and trash tossed in unauthorized places (sometimes into the water source itself) seep into water source.
This pollutes our drinking water and the water wildlife live in and drink from. Our food sources need water to live, and whatever is in the water animals and plants drink will end up in our body.
Compostable items will improve the quality of water for both our drinking and our food consumption.
It takes less energy to recycle a compostable product into a new, usable product than to start from scratch creating a product. When used plastic and paper are recycled into new items, it uses far less natural energy.
Organic matter decomposes without the use of energy and becomes a organic compost, costing much less (and being more beneficial for plant life) than chemical
Our country is plagued by food deserts fertilizer.
When less energy is used in a manufacturing process, the saving is passed onto the consumer in lower prices plus it helps conserve a precious natural resource.
5.Better Air Quality
Methane gas is produced and emitted into the atmosphere in a few different ways. Landfills are reportedly the second largest source of man-made methane emissions in the U.S., and much of this is attributed to the manner in which organic matter is handled at landfills.
When compostable items are mixed in with all household trash it anaerobically decomposes and creates methane gas. That methane gas is released into the atmosphere, creating air pollution and diminishing the quality of air that we breathe.
By using compostable products and separating them in recycle bins (or creating our own compost pile at home) we can limit the amount of biodegradable material that ends of decomposing anaerobically and producing methane gas at the local landfill.
Using compostable products are better for the present and future quality of life. Reduced product cost, reduced amount of energy in creating the product, increased soil fertility, improved water and air. Purchasing and using any product that is biodegradable and comes in a biodegradable container is better all around for our planet and all its inhabitants.
Waste not, want not, was the motto of a past generation. They just may have been ahead of their time.
Georgia Lund is an professional freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Her field of knowledge and writing expertise lies within organic gardening, backyard farming, recycling, frugal living.