Banning plastics in Bengaluru is an opportunity not merely to reduce waste; but equally to inspect our own hypocrisy and inactions.
The hugely delayed, yet to be strictly enforced ban will hopefully become a success and the government will surely take credit for all the reduced garbage, unless the plastic manufacturers’ lobby, claiming how 70,000 or more people will become jobless while the indirect economy generated by plastics will be lost, succeeds in forcing the government to reverse its decision.
With political considerations over-ruling ecological concerns, we need to wait with our fingers crossed.
Incidentally, the need to ban is not a recent talk. Even ten or definitely five years ago, if we were to have a public referendum, the majority would have voted to reduce or even ban plastics. Of course there were people who believe banning is not a solution, an argument which ironically offers no other solution.
If people believed in banning, they must have realised the dangers ahead. If so, why did people not try to reduce its usage? Now that there is a ban, we are carrying cloth shopping bags, non-woven bags and often the old plastic bag itself for reuse. Why did we not do this in the past, while being fully aware ecological disasters?
We appear to be poor in voluntary compliance, despite all of our education, exposure, travels abroad and intellectual talk in gatherings.
How else one can explain the sudden turnaround in our actions, from plastics to cloth bags, just when the ban is imposed? Of course we could have done this in the past, but we did not, as if we were waiting for some kind of law enforcement, without which we are not supposed to live an eco-friendly life.
Awareness without action is as meaningless as fruit without sap. At one end it may prove our hollow passion simply to talk, but at the other end, it displays our casual approach to environmental crisis. Possibly, majority of us are not worried about ecology, as long as our personal short- and long-term objectives are met with. It’s our immediate aspiration that matters, not the implication of our action on Mother Earth.
There is more to learn from the plastics ban than merely the law. If not for our own failure in turning our awareness into action, this law would not have been needed.
If we are a generation of hypocrites only shedding crocodile tears for nature, how are we going to implement thousands of imperatives and actions necessary to save the earth and the human race?
Are we going to wait for thousands of rules and regulations that will stop us by force from harming nature?
It is time we realise; we need not and should not wait for a printed legislation to make us eco-friendly. We should become friends of nature right away, such that no law will ever be needed.
Courtesy – The Hindu