Is banning plastic the best solution?


Over the years, we have been so selfish – destroying the planet and not thinking about the future generation. From wasting water to using harmful fuels, we have done it all, but the use of plastic might be the most heinous crime yet. Fortunately, the Government has contrived a movement for the betterment of the planet. The “Ban the Bag” movement has compelled all Mumbaikars to discard all plastics and refrain from using them. However, not everybody can see the good in this movement, can you?

It is scientifically proven that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there will be fish. This will not only cause food shortages, whilst the population is ever rising, but it will also increase the strain on our farmers. Carelessly discarded plastic bags not only strangle and suffocate aquatic plants and animals, but they also cause visual pollution which reduces tourism that affects the country’s economy.

On the other hand, the alternative to plastic bags – paper bags and reusable bags are much more expensive; thus, businesses and consumers (especially those who are on a tight budget) are suffering. Moreover, an industry official predicts that nearly 3,00,000 people are set to become unemployed due to this movement .

Many question, “How is the government going to dispose off these non degradable plastics?” The answer is that the government plans on converting plastic into fuels. Nevertheless this may only cause further damage. The fuel produced by plastics is sure to produce more carbon emissions than normal fossil fuels, contributing further to global warming and climate change.

We all agree that plastic bags fill up landfills because they take 1000 or more years to decompose completely. Unfortunately, few of us know that paper bags take up 9 times more space than plastic bags and decompose at about the same rate.

Moreover, plastic bags release chemicals into the ground and water ways that indirectly enter the food chain. When we ingest the fish, these harmful chemicals enter our bodies and have adverse effects like disrupting our hormonal functions. Believe it or not, reusable bags have the same effects on us. Scientists believe that reusing cloth bag, especially during warmer months, increase bacteria that would spread to your groceries and cause food poisoning.

I personally believe that banning plastics is not the best solution because it is causing more problems than solving them. We should use more sustainable and effective methods such as educating the future generations about small actions like – reusing plastics, saving water which can go a long way and save the planet. So let us take the initiative of making the world a better place.

Alethea Alphanso
Student of AS Level,
VIBGYOR Goregaon, Mumbai

Making a Difference!


Plastic has almost been declared the No. 1 enemy of Planet Earth. Plastic bags and bottles are on the endangered list of commodities in India with Maharashtra set to enforce a ban on certain types of plastic following the example of 17 other states. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle have been watchwords from decades. However, now they have gained more significance, especially in the light of the recent developments.

The ominous news that more than 200 cities all over the globe are facing acute water crisis and 10 cities may, in the near future, run out of water is indeed an eye opener. Bengaluru too is on the list and that surely is alarming for people living in our garden city. People in Cape Town, South Africa, are bracing themselves for Day Zero – when there will be absolutely no water in their city. There are many such horrifying scenarios being awaited elsewhere too.

Nevertheless, there is also a growing understanding and mindfulness pervading many places. There are remedies being sought and viable solutions are emerging. Water management strategies are being devised: rainwater harvesting, the way in which crops are being selected for cultivation, planting vertical gardens, harnessing the ocean’s water through desalination are now among the many options being explored, among other environmental efforts.

Some days back, my heart leapt up in delight when I found out about the return of the Olive Ridley turtles to Versova Beach in Mumbai after a hiatus of 20 years. This is a victory for the beach cleanup efforts of Mr Afroz Shah and his dedicated group of volunteers. The VIBGYOR Group of Schools is proud of our association with this stupendous humanitarian and environmentally friendly work.

There are many crucial sustainability initiatives that all our VIBGYOR schools are promoting. The foremost among them is the banning plastic initiative and the water conservation initiative. Our schools are promoting environmental consciousness and spreading awareness among the students about these socially relevant topics and year long plans have been drawn up and implemented.

Let us all begin in our own small ways to save our beloved Earth.