Just imagine an alluring evening where you are strolling at a stunning beach with the all that fresh breeze caressing your face slowly and gently and all of a sudden you smell an unpleasant smell around you and when you go searching for it suddenly you see a land stuffed with plastic, behind you, in front of you, beside you and it’s just keeps on increasing. All of a sudden that feel of ease turns into suffocation and that pleasing site turns into a nightmare and boom! you open your eyes to appreciate that it was all just a dream. And what if I tell you that it can actually come true if not looked upon or worked on within the near future. Which clearly none of us would actually want to. But let me tell you that this nightmare can actually be just a nightmare with a really minimal effort put by us, one of its kind, the HUMANKIND. Because let’s face it there is very little time left when nature would literally get jaded up of it and would slap back at us with all the unwanted gifts we are showering it in the form of plastic.
Plastic in our environment plays a role like candy does in our lives that is if consumed much it harms us and decays our environment. Being very adaptable, resistant, and comparatively cheaper plastic has been always the primary source of packing and storing. And with the passing of eons, this attraction of plastic and consumption of it has nothing but only increased. Being fully aware of the fact that plastic is non-biodegradable or that it cannot be decomposed because of its high chemical properties we humans are still not accepting the fact that we just have a single planet to live and in no time we are going to transform it in a dumpster full of plastic, which we have to live without any choices. Sounds scary right? But what if I tell you that we can still stop this nightmare from coming true! Yes, it’s absolutely true! And also let me tell you that YOU as an individual can play a very important role in it and that too from your own very house. And trust me it will play a very extensive role in it.
The most common practice of using plastic is in wrapping and carrying of objects. In our day to day life, we use it for every small unnecessary role for e.g. from wrapping up of just three fruits, a tiny piece of an object, or even for carrying just two or three notebooks, etc. The method of decreasing the usage is very easy and as laymen, we don’t have to get into all the science behind that, all we have to understand is that there is always an alternative for everything. Just like wrapping up unnecessary and irrelevant things with plastics, we can use its alternative that is BANANA LEAVES. Yes! you read it absolutely right. With its usage as an eating utensil from ancient times and for other decorative purposes, banana leaves are already being used as an alternative for plastic in any aspect that it can be. We don’t have to jump directly with its usage over bigger projects but starting with our very homes it can bring a huge change. For like instead of packing the things with plastic that are required to be consumed in a short duration of time. The practice of using the banana leaves dates back thousands of years in places like India and the Philippines, where it was used in place of paper. The leaves are flexible and waterproof, making them a great substitute for plastic wrap. They’re even used as plates, eliminating the need for single-use plastic alternatives (BANANA LEAF WRAPPERS — PACKAGING GOES BACK TO NATURE, 2019). The solution is simply based on two easy mantras’ 1) By nature 2) For nature. There’s almost always a chance for solutions to be eco-friendlier. From eons in Asia, banana leaves have been used for food packaging. But they were quickly deteriorated and were overtaken by plastics, that now often clog the waterways and pollute the oceans. A young Indian inventor has managed to process banana leaves to a packaging material that keeps its properties for three years. And it is perfectly biodegradable. A boy in his early teens once noticed heaps of banana leaves being dumped by farmers due to a lack of preservations technology. But after a few failed trials he was successful to preserve the leaves without any chemicals.
The technology enhances cells, strengthens cell walls of leaves, and prevents pathogenic agents from destroying the cells. Increased in their durability, stretchability, and crushability, preserved leaves can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than in their original state. This solves the global landfill crisis that results in constantly rising heaps of garbage which amount to more than 1 billion tons per year, almost reaching up to Mount Everest and prevents the death and cruelty to 200 million land and aquatic animals (Processed banana leaves, an eco-friendly packaging solution, 2019). And Shockingly, 106 million tonnes of banana leaves are wasted each year. But I am sure you were more shocked to read about the plastic one than this. So just imagine if a young boy of 14 years can bring such a huge change what will happen if we all together take a step forward in doing what we all can that is in our hands. It will be initially a little tough to say goodbye to our erstwhile practices but we all are familiar with the saying that “ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND”. And this right here saying “ADIOS” to using plastic is that our one GIANT step. All the researches that have been done in the past and that are going currently have shown that how there use have been 1) cost-effective 2) source of income for the farmers and most importantly 3) Environmental free cause let’s face it we are not going on any other planet as an alternative anytime soon. So value what you have now and don’t just go bananas, go with banana leaves.