Travelling during #PlasticFreeJuly

I went out of station this week to an engagement of a family friend. We traveled to Ranchi in Jharkhand. It was especially revealing to notice the trash–especially the plastic waste–on this little journey. For starters, the Bengaluru airport needs some serious help with its waste management system. There are two types of segregation systems around the airport. It is the first that disturbs me the most (check out the top left-hand corner photograph below and the brown area in the middle): they are asking people to put paper and food waste together. That means that 2 of the most easily recycled and compostable items are going to be neither compostable nor recyclable.  There was so much mixed waste all around me on this trip–from temples where puja flower waste was mixed with plastic to our hotel restaurant’s food and plastic waste to the ridiculously over packaged snacks on my Indigo flight. I purposefully chose the snack that seemed like it had the least amount of waste–a small tin of almonds (see below). In fact, as you can see in the photograph, the almonds came in a plastic pouch that was inside the tin container and that too was shrink wrapped in plastic.

Of course going home and going on this little trip made me have to interact with plastic on a much greater scale. Driving our car and riding in a plane–both vehicles have plastic embedded in them. And on airplanes there is such a ridiculous amount of waste–all piled into a single plastic bag, which I’m sure doesn’t go anywhere near a recycling plant.

Here are more items that I need to add to my list of encountering during this #PlasticFreeJuly.

♽ trash can

♽ component for my pen (my mother’s fountain pen needed a replacement piece that enables you to put in new ink)

♽ plastic folders for important papers

♽ tupperware

♽ water bottle from the train (my husband had been on a trip to Chennai and though he’s usually good about carrying his metal water bottle, he forgot this time)

♽ shampoo bottle

♽ eye drop bottle

♽ debit card

♽ rubber chappals

♽ SIM card

♽ wallet (my wallet is made out of old Tetra Paks)

♽ pedicure foot scraper

♽ food tray at airport

♽ steering wheel and other components in our car

♽ receipts

♽ the airplane

At least when I got home, I found this lovely little upcycled item on my pillow courtesy of two of my Garbology students last year.

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