GREENER PLANET – BETTER EARTH – Green talk session 2

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Say no to plastic pollution

We are not the same blue green planet that existed 100 years ago.” Are we? Nope.”  We are facing the consequences of our ill-treatments towards the planet. We are threatened with global issues like climate change, global warming etc. All the life forms on the earth are suffering silently due to our misbehavior. At this point we are given 2 choices; either to continue what we are doing, witnessing the gradual destruction of the blue green planet or to step ahead to change our regular practices even in our individual level to save the planet. The Center for Environmental Initiatives in University of Colombo invites you to select the harder but worthy choice. Green talks are the sessions that enlighten you with new ideas, precautions and practices.

The Green talk session 2, which was held on 9th May 2018 at Mathematics Auditorium, Faculty of Science carried the theme of “Stopping plastic pollution” The guest speaker of the session was Professor Ajith De Alwis from University of Moratuwa.  It was a truly inspiring session and facts related to new threats, failures and upcoming suggestions were broadly discussed. Let me summarize few key points that were stressed during the session.

“Plastic is a versatile material”  Yes, it indeed is, each and every equipment we utilize, contain certain portion of plastic. We are living in an era of plastic and plastic serve us well. But its’ accumulation has generated many problems that we face today. But as a material, plastic cannot be blamed alone. We, the consumers are the real creators of its accumulation. Our unregulated and unnecessary consumption have  created the issue.  So rather than being extremists trying to eradicate plastic, ( which seems to be impossible as it is not quite practical) we need to become responsible and wise in using plastic. For instance, what we need to focus is avoiding single-use plastic items.

In the plastic industry many additives and chemicals are added during its processing, which could easily get released to the surrounding medium. It is very important to be cautious about the chemical content during recycling as well.Open burning of plastics has also become a problem, impacting our health.

The most highlighted fact of the session was the phasing out of single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, cups, polythene bags, lunch sheets etc.   


Garbage dump created by single-used plastics      

The The Ganges river system in India and Bangladesh  subjected to plastic pollution

Single-use plastic production is rising up to sky to meet the consumer needs. To fuel the production process we spend our precious remaining bit of crude oil that took millions of years to synthesis. But after couple of minute usage we just throw away the product.” What wastage of energy?” Plus this single-use product will retain on the planet for many more years creating huge garbage dumps on both land and sea. So the time has come for us to think “Are these single-use plastics so important to pay such price?” “Why don’t we replace it with an alternative and get rid of it?”. It is the take home massage from green talk session 2.

Through collective small individual acts we can create a bigger impact. So let us contribute our fair shares in building “Greener planet – Better Earth”.

Though it is bit hard to watch, I request you to spend 2 minutes to watch this video. Let the video speak about the pain and suffering we imposed on the other creatures.

Special Acknowledgement : Dr. Erandathie Lokupitiya, Director of Center for Environmental Initiatives.

Image credits :–3