Directions(1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Plastic has universally become the most used material in a modern economy. While it has its own benefits, it would be apt to look upon how it affects the environment as also the economy. The use of plastic is so deeply ingrained in our everyday life that we sometimes don’t realise that a particular product has plastic elements in it, like the microbeads in our face washes. What began as a utility support to our society has now become a global menace and is endangering the entire eco-system of our planet.
Take for example, the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. Did you know that this is the largest offshore plastic accumulation zone in the world? Almost eight million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year. At this rate, this garbage patch will only increase in size. In its current state, it already measures 1.6 million square kilometres in dimension, which is approximately the area of five largest Indian States put together (Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh). We can only imagine how this disturbs and endangers marine life. The hazards of using plastic largely out-weighs its use. Around 90 per cent of the popular bottled water brands contain tiny pieces of plastic. When food is wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container and microwaved, BPA and phthalates may leak into the food and disrupt the endocrine system. Not only is plastic hazardous for humans, it is also detrimental to the living of plants and animals as well.
The world recycles just about 14 per cent of the plastic it uses. If we simply start reusing or recycling plastic, it will go a long way in curbing plastic pollution. Better still, if we consciously take measures to stop using plastic altogether, there will be some hope to save this planet. Each one of us should practise and advocate the use of cloth bags instead of plastic bags, participate in beach and river clean-up drives and other such activities. To explain this further, let’s try and understand the life cycle of plastic generation and the ultimate end of it, which results in a global menace. Plastic production surged to 311 million tonnes in 2014 and is expected to double in the next 20 years. Plastic consumption has been increasing all over the world but India alone has consumed 33.5k tonnes of plastic during the period 2017-18. There has been 650 per capita consumption of plastic bags which along with food containers and plastic bottles, makes for almost 59 per cent of the total plastic waste. After a short first-use cycle, 95 per cent of plastic packaging material value, or $80–120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. A staggering 32 per cent of plastic packaging escapes collection systems, generating significant economic costs by reducing the productivity of vital natural systems, such as the ocean and clogging urban infrastructure. The cost of such after-use externalities for plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at $40 billion annually — exceeding the plastic packaging industry’s profit pool.
Since this is just the beginning in solving a huge problem, corporate India will have to put in more efforts to combat plastic pollution by focusing on the three Rs — Reduce, Re-use and Recycle — to create a more sustainable environment. Plastic has several essential uses but the fact remains that we have become over reliant on single-use. Beat plastic pollution, which is the theme for World Environment Day 2018, is a call for action to everyone to join hands and do their bit to combat this greatest environmental challenge.
The rule is simple: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it. There are so many small things that we can do, like restrict the use of plastic straws, carry our own set of cutleries, bring in our own coffee mugs, flasks, carry cloth bags, shopping baskets and so on. In short, we all have to become a strong crusader of ‘Reuse or Refuse’. Advocate passionately one-on-one or through the digital platforms, appealing your circle of influence to do their bit towards this cause. We also have to lead by example. All of us need to come together and raise our voices against the use of plastic. Together, we can surely put an end to this global threat and strive for a better future.
- Why does the writer probably feel that the garbage patch is going to increase in size?
More and more awareness is being spread with each passing year.A large amount of recycling drives are being encouraged.A large amount of plastic enters the ocean every year.Both B and CNone of the aboveOption C
As is quite evident from the information provided in the passage – ‘almost eight million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year’, which automatically indicates that the garbage patch is going to only increase with each passing year.
- Which of the following statements supports the fact that plastic is hazardous for humans?
Presently the garbage patch measures 1.6 million square kilometers in dimension.We have become very much habitual of using plastic in our day-to-day lives.When we heat food wrapped in plastic or stored in a plastic container, BPA and phthalates may leak into the food andeventually disturb the endocrine system.All of theseNone of theseOption C
By using plastic regularly and also using it for storing food will eventually lead to many side-effects and some serious diseases,thus plastic is hazardous for human beings.
- Which of the following is nearest in meaning to the word “detrimental” as used in the passage?
Detrimental – causing loss, damage or injury.
- Which of the following is most opposite in meaning to the word “advocate” as used in the passage?
Advocate – to support or recommend something publicly
- If we start reusing and recycling plastic,it will not help too much in containing plastic pollution.
According to the information given in the passage, this statement is –Definitely TrueProbably TrueDefinitely FalseProbably FalseCannot be determinedOption C
As it is clearly mentioned in the passage – ‘If we simply start reusing or recycling plastic, it will go a long way in curbing plastic pollution’, so, we can infer that the above statement is definitely false. Recycling or reusing plastic will definitely help to a large extent in restricting the level of pollution being caused by plastic.
- Which of the following statements is/are definitely false according to the information given in the passage?
The use of plastic has only increased by each passing year.People should be coming together to stop the major harm being caused by plastic.Plastic production is expected to reduce in the coming years.Recycling is going to help to a large extent in curbing plastic pollution.None of theseOption C
The statement is completely opposite to the information provided in the passage- Plastic production surged to 311 million tonnes in 2014 and is expected to double in the next 20 years.
- Which of the following words is most nearly the same in meaning to the word “staggering” as used in the passage?
Staggering – extremely surprising.
- Which of the following words is the most opposite in meaning to the word “surged” as used in the passage?
Surge – a sudden strong increase or burst. Thus, the most appropriate antonym will be ‘decrease’.
- Which of the following steps can be taken in the direction of curbing plastic pollution?
To wait for the garbage patch to decrease.We should come together and try to spread awareness through whichever platforms, to reach more and more people.We can initiate first by restricting the use of plastic and using better alternatives by our ownselves.Both B and CAll A,B,COption
Both the statements support the cause of curbing plastic pollution and also resonate with the ideas mentioned in the passage.
- If we look carefully, the usefulness of plastic is much more than its hazards.
According to the passage, this statement is –Definitely TrueDefinitely FalseProbably TrueProbably FalseCannot be determinedOption B
The passage mentions – The hazards of using plastic largely outweighs its use.
Statements to support – Around 90 per cent of the popular bottled water brands contain tiny pieces of plastic. When food is wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container and microwaved, BPA and phthalates may leak into the food and disrupt the endocrine system. Not only is plastic hazardous for humans, it is also detrimental to the living of plants and animals as well.