India combats pollution as single-use plastics, said officials on Tuesday. This was a disruptive measure for the industry as it was coping with job losses and economic slowdown.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday outlaws six items. On the independence leader Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, as a part of the campaign, it was announced to make India free by 2022 from the single-use plastics.
However, two officials confirmed there will be no move immediately to ban the plastic cups, bags, plates, straws, small bottles, and certain sachet types, though the government will curb its usage.
For now, the government will ask the states to follow existing rules against manufacturing, storing, and using single-use plastic products such as Styrofoam and polythene bags, informed the top bureaucrat, Chandra Kishore Mishra at the ministry of environment to Reuters.
Mishra said, “A new ban order is not issued”, now it is about telling people about the plastic ill-effects, collecting and sending it to recycling.
The countrywide ban proposed by the government has disappointed consumer firms to a great extent as they use plastic in every packaging right from biscuits to sodas, shampoos, and ketchup.
The Indian industry Confederation, a lobby group said this move is a must as an existential issue for economic sectors and there is no other alternative right now.
It also said that the health products or pharmaceutical plastic bottles in small-sizes can be exempted right now until a suitable alternative is available. there is no ban on sachets as multi-layered packaging as it may disturb the supplies of salt, biscuits, and milk; said the confederation.
Within the government conscious decision was taking place so that business is not hit hard and the plastic is discouraged voluntarily, said an official working on this policy.
Plastic waste is estimated to 100 million tones dump in the oceans and scientists have found micro-plastic in large amounts in the intestines of mammals such as whales. The poisons, toxins, and pollutants of the plastic products are causing several diseases to human bodies as well.
The government is unable to put in place with timelines. The recent announcements on single-use plastics phase-out are now expected to be eliminated by 2022. The guidelines do not specify those union territories and state to phase-out plastics by 2022 as single-use.
There is pressure from industry for this change, say experts. Without a roadmap, the 2022 target seems an aspiration. The Environment Secretary C.K.Mishra said the government is now planning to ‘sensitize people against sing-use plastic so that it will result in gradual elimination.
He also said, “Over the past year, the happy note is that the general awareness about plastic use in corporate and public has increased and now there is no need to take it to a new level.” There is a belief that single-use plastic will be eliminated by 2022.
The time to say good-bye to single-use plastic has come said the Prime Minister and announced that India will put an end in the coming years to this single-use plastic.