This year, Gandhi’s birthday will be marked by a national crackdown on six specific plastic items. Banning single-use plastic will hurt a large part of existing investments in machinery and impact jobs in the plastics industry, but future costs of removing all single-use plastics accumulating in the environment will most certainly be higher than the costs of allowing this polluting industry to grow today.
A year ago, the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, pledged that his country would eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022.Now, he has announced the first step to making that happen – a ban on six specific items that will take effect on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. These items are plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets.
There will be a six-month grace period after the October 2 launch to allow people to adopt alternatives. Modi has said the country will pursue other plastic-reduction tactics, including tougher environmental standards (i.e. ensuring everything is recyclable) and asking e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, to minimize the plastic used to package purchase goods.Eco Watch cities a government official who said that e-commerce-related packaging accounts for nearly 40 percent of India’s annual plastic consumption.
SUP are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items such as plastic bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery, intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.
It’s good to see India taking a concrete step toward plastic reduction, but with its population of 1.3 billion, implementation will be a challenge.
Contributed by Mansi