The Prime Minister has made an Independence Day announcement that puts India on track to reject single use plastic.
This is much needed and I hope we are successful in doing this.
The ban on the use of single use plastic bags is already in force in several states, and this has definitely brought down the scale of the problem. While the law is routinely flouted by the sabji vendor and the consumer, but the overall volumes of plastic bags has definitely gone down. Now there is less defacing of our communities, and less accumulation in our public spaces and landfills.
The extension of the ban on single use plastic bags all over the country is a welcome one.
The emphasis on plastic PET bottles may be mistaken though, because we do not find plastic bottles strewn all around. Most of them have a resale value. They get collected and enter the recycling system. Here is an article about the misplaced government priority – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/government-looks-to-junk-plastic-water-bottles/articleshow/70925916.cms
The biggest problems are the multilayered packs and sachets in which biscuits, chips and other products are sold. These have no resale value, and are becoming huge polluters. This needs the ”polluter pays” principle to be applied. The culprits here are all organised sector manufacturers and food companies. They must be mandated to repurchase the used sachets and packs at 2 Rs a piece or more. This will create resale value for this waste, and the buyers can be responsible for recycling them.