Everyone is waiting for the PM to announce the ban of single use plastic tomorrow, 2nd Oct to mark 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. And everyone across India is getting ready to ride this storm. All know that this has to be done and was long time in coming but majority of industries are unprepared.
First know all that which is in the banned list - The Maharashtra government has notified the ban on categories of plastic and thermocol including less than 200 ml drinking water PET bottles, plastic bags for shopping, disposable thermocol cups, plates and straws. Bottles with size larger than 200 ml with MRP printed have been allowed.
Also banned are plastic shopping bags, with as well as without handles. Single-use disposable items made of thermocol like cups, plates, saucers, spoons and straws have also been made illegal. Usage of plastic and thermocol for decoration purpose has also been disallowed.
What is allowed - recyclable multilayered plastic used in chips packet, shampoo pouches, oil packet and chocolate packets. Plastic items used for domestic purpose like bottles, buckets, mugs have also been allowed.
The biggest hit will be for food delivery where plastic is largely used. They will have to quickly shift to earthen pots and cups, or containers made from thick paper or permissible and reusable expensive plastic. These alternates will be more expensive and in the present circumstance they will not be able to pass on this cost to the consumers.
This ban is sure to hurt a lot of people and industries but if we do not take action now, the consequences could be more devastating that what we are seeing today.
Necessity is the mother of invention – this ban might lead to discovery of environmental friendly material for packaging – this was anyway bound to happen; to say that they were caught on the wrong footing would be incorrect.
The nation-wide ban on single use plastic and thermacol is a fantastic initiative, which even the developed world is not able to do.