Are We Going Backward?

Are We Going Backward?

Single use term is used for plastics that can be used only once then disposed. Improper management of these plastics become a threat to our ecosystem. On Independence Day, 2018 Prime Minister of India declared to phase out single use plastic from India by 2022. After that Odisha first impose a ban on single use plastic in six major cities Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri in 2018. Then on 2nd October, 2019 the ban is extended to all urban areas.

Banned

  • Polythene carry bags of any shape, size and thickness
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet/Pete) bottles of less than 200 ml capacity
  • Single use disposable cutleries, dish, cup, plate, glass, bowl, pouch to store liquid
  • Thermocol decorative materials
  • Polythene sheets of less than 50 micron thickness for storing, transporting, dispensing or packaging of any article or commodity or food items

Allowed

  • Compostable carry bags
  • Container for packing and selling of milk and other ancillary milk products
  • Plastic carrying and transporting garbage
  • Polythene packing materials used in healthcare sector like medicines, blood transportation bags, syringes, sample and specimen bags, resalable bags, medical instruments and accessories

From the first day of regulation of the rule, it has implemented in our city properly. Instead of polythene carry bags non woven polypropylene carry bags, paper carry bags and reusable plastic bags are used. Carry bags with buy back option are also used. People are charged for carry bags in shops. So people are preferring to carry their own bags for shopping. In food stalls and juice centers plastic cutlery are replaced with steel or biodegradable utensils.   

But single use plastics are again found to use due to ongoing pandemic. For safety plastic cutlery, cup, glass etc have been preferable. In restaurants and food stalls only parcel of food is allowed. So plastic packaging is also growing. Single use polythene used in distribution of food and relief work have increased. Improper dispose of masks, face shield and PPE kits has also made increase in plastic waste. In other States like Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala the ban has been relaxed due to pandemic. Authorities are busy with handling the pandemic and don’t have time to regulate the ban.

A small step was taken to fight with the single use plastic. But that step has turned towards the opposite.

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