Banning plastic difficult, but is need of the hour: Gul Panag

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Actress Gul Panag, one of Bollywood’s leading voices on cleanliness, spoke about the need to ban plastic while taking part in a panel discussion at India Today’s Safaigiri Awards 2019

One of Bollywood’s fiercest voices on cleanliness, Gul Panag, speaking at India Today’s Safaigiri Awards 2019, said that the need of the hour is for everyone to move out of their comfort zone and acknowledge that use of plastic is catastrophic. She noted that a move to ban plastic is a difficult one but is the right one.

Manik Thapar, founder & CEO, Eco Wise Waste Management, another panellist at the Safaigiri Awards, spoke about the fact that recycling is crucial in the fight against plastic. Shedding light on plastic recycling, he added that plastic that is less than 50 microns can be recycled. But for that to happen, segregation is a must, Thapar said.

On the other hand, Sahar Mansoor, founder & CEO, Bare Necessities, said that manufacturers need to come up with ideas of minimising use of plastic such as making cloth bags, using paper bags and other similar initiatives that will pay dividends in the longer run. She added that Indians culturally have a habit of recycling that needs to be tapped into.

Gul Panag also spoke about how she took up driving an electric car five years back. It wasn’t an easy decision, Panang said, noting that moving out of the comfort zone is the starting point to bringing about a change in behaviour. On the issue of children being at the forefront of this movement, Gul Panag said, “Kids are the ones who are at the forefront but adults are hesitant in bringing changes.” She added that adults find it difficult to change their way of living, which is hampering the movement to ban plastic.

Panag also spoke about how villages are more eco friendly since they are more attached to nature. Since villagers get more affected by pollution they tend to care more about it and they also try their best to minimise use of items that would contribute to pollution, Panag said, adding saying that governments needs to actively enforce a ban on plastic, without which people will never their leave old habits and acquire new ones.

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