Plastic pollution is a global catastrophe, adversely affecting the environment. Tons of single-use plastics are littered around the beaches, roads, and parks. They harm not only nature but also wildlife. Since it is a man-made disaster, there are ways to control it. To highlight awareness about the pressing issues of plastic pollution, International Plastic Bag Free Day is celebrated each year on 3rd July. It was created as an initiative to educate people about the effects of plastic pollution and eliminate the use of plastic.
Various states across the world have played their part in reducing plastic pollution with Karnataka being right at the top. The state has banned as many as 17 products ( single-use products). These include cutlery, carry bags (less thick than 50 microns), and others. The initiative by the Government has resulted in a cleaner environment and less pollution. This is one of the reasons why two Karnataka beaches have received the Blue Flag certification – Padubidri beach in Udupi and Kasarkod beach in Uttara Kannada District. It makes Karnataka the only Indian state to have two certified beaches. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has selected five more Karnataka beaches for the Blue Flag certification. These beaches possess solid waste management plants, grey water treatments plants, seating arrangements, clean drinking water, washroom, changing room, bathing facility, disabled friendly and general toilets, parking facilities, solar power plants and solar lighting. Besides this, the citizens of the state ensure they minimize the use of plastic products to help the government in this noble cause.
There are several innovative ways to celebrate International Plastic Bag Free Day. Choose paper over plastic whenever possible and take your own paper bags when you go out. Lastly, celebrate nature and its wonders in their purest forms in Karnataka. A visit to these blue flag beaches and wildlife sanctuaries will take you close to nature, encouraging you to protect them from pollution.