There used to be one waste bin at home which we would keep outside every day and a sanitation worker would come and collect it. We never lined it and in the evening after parents came back from work, we would wash it and keep it inside and we repeated the process. Somewhere during the early 2000s the invention of plastic trash bags happened. In no time they flooded the markets and had very many takers. This just compounded the problem of trash collection and disposal.
In the last 10-15 years with the advent of plastic, I see plastic around me like never before. Just as plastic is all-pervasive, it has entered the dustbins as liners as well. Dustbin liners make sure there is less smell and mess to deal with.
I had a child a few years back and my perspective about waste started changing. I noticed that the waste in my house phenomenally increased and I kept thinking this is just one house in Bangalore city. What would happen if every house across Bangalore and India generated a lot of waste? Will we be giving a livable planet to our children and the future generations? This uneasy question kept disturbing me.
One day I took my daughter to a plantation drive as we were digging the pits to plant our saplings. I noticed that the land was full of plastic waste such as toothbrushes, disposable plastic covers, shampoo bottles, chocolate wrappers etc., nearby there were some old trees and trees had plastic jetting out of them. This shattered my heart and made me wonder. What kind of planet am I leaving behind for my future generations?
I decided to take steps to tackle this menace staring at us. I have been segregating waste into wet (kitchen waste), dry (recyclable waste) and reject waste (goes to landfills). I have been able to reduce reject waste to almost zero. I have started taking vegetables and fruits directly from the farm thereby reducing plastic from this to zero. However, groceries and other consumables still do bring plastic waste. I also noticed that I was lining my dustbins with plastic liners and these needed to go as well. While we may or may not be able to do much for packaging of the products we can definitely do something about the plastic dustbin liners.