Single-use plastic is choking marine life and our planet. However, we are slowly coming to the realization that these plastic products are harmful and need to be banned. More and more countries, both developing and developed, are taking a step against single-use plastic. This time, it is India’s turn.
The Indian government is planning to impose a ban all over the nation on several plastic products, which includes plastic straws, plastic cups, and bags. The government wants to wipe plastic away from the villages and cities that have been dubbed as the most polluted. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, is leading this process and trying to set an example. He has ambitious plans – scrapping all selected plastic products by the year 2022. About six plastic items have been considered for the ban. According to the officials, October 2nd has been decided as the date to start off this move. October 2nd is the birth anniversary of the famous historical figure, Mahatma Gandhi.
— Shivya Nath (@shivya) August 28, 2019
The ban will be put on products like cups, plastic plates, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic straws and other specific types of sachets. It will be a comprehensive ban and will also include the manufacturing sector. On August 15th, the Independence Day of India, the Prime Minister had urged many government agencies and the public to take a step against single-use plastic. He also promised to make a major move on October 2nd.
#India to ban single-use plastic products from October 2. @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji who is leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, is set to launch the campaign with a ban on as many as six items on October 2, the birth anniversary of #MahatmaGandhi #SayNoToPlastic pic.twitter.com/xQVH81x60Q
— Anshul Dave (@anshul_dave) August 30, 2019
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Once this ban is put in place, it might help in cutting down the 5-10% of annual plastic use in India. Nowadays, it amounts to around 14 million tonnes! People will be allowed about 6 months to adopt the new policy and find alternatives. After 6 months, there could be penalties put in place. There might even be a strong insistence on the use of recyclable plastic. The government will urge e-commerce companies to not use plastic packaging – a product that is creating about 40% of the annual plastic consumption of the country. After all, cheap access to the internet due to cheap smartphones has resulted in the increased use of Amazon and Flipkart. These e-commerce companies have kept plastic as their mode of preservation and delivery.
The EU has mentioned that they, too, would ban a few single-use plastic products like forks, straws, and cotton-buds by 2021. Shanghai is also starting to curb down its use of plastic and Hainan, Shanghai’s island province has promised to stop single-use plastic within 2025.
IMAGE CREDIT: Srunyu Poonyaphitak