Clear Plastic Jars: use Them or Avoid Them.
Plastics have been incorporated in almost every part of human life. It is very difficult to imagine even a single day of modern life without plastic. Pick any gadget, be it mobile or computer, plastic is an important part of them. Another common use of plastic is in making clear plastic jars. These jars have occupied the shelves of almost every kitchen in India. Although these plastic jars are commonly used in most of the households, one should take a moment before leaping to the conclusion that they are the ideal jars for kitchen.
First, let’s consider the reasons of such high popularity of clear plastic jars in households of developing nations, like India. Clear Plastic jars come with various advantages. They are light, strong and cheap to produce. They don’t decompose. Unlike glass they are unbreakable. They can be recycled (although cant reproduce clear plastic jars). Unlike tin cans, they can be used again and again. They are transparent, so items stored in them are visible from outside. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so can be used to store almost anything. They are heat insulating. Despite humidity, they maintain their quality.
So far, they seem the best! Does it not seem that they are just too perfect? Well, let us now consider the disadvantages. The plastic used in them is not biodegradable. This means that these pretty looking clear plastic jars once synthesized, remain unaltered in the environment for a very long time. Even if humans try to burn them or melt them, the gases released are very harmful for our environment. Many scientists have pointed out that plastic accumulation in environment is a looming catastrophe. Also consider the fact that these plastic jars are produced from petroleum. As the world is gradually running out of oil, we need to ask ourselves if we have thought of enough alternatives to oil and the products manufactured with it.
But perhaps the most serious side effect of these clear plastic jars is on our health. Recent studies have pointed out that storage of food in such plastic jars increases the risk of cancer. Also, if fruits and vegetables are stored in such containers, the plastic chemicals react with their organic compounds and completely destroy their nutritive utility.
So what should be done? Should we just completely ban the use of such clear plastic jars in our houses? Well, to be very frank, at present, it seems impossible. We do not have a cheap and durable alternative to them. But what can be changed is the attitude of people. They should know about judicious use of clear plastic jars in their kitchens. They should have clear idea that what they can do and what they can’t do with them. Under no conditions they should be used to store pickles, milk, fruits and juices etc. in the end, it is the judicious use of a product that makes all the difference.