Ban On Plastic In My City- Effect and Consequence

Ban On Plastic In My City- Effect and Consequence

In a bid to protect the environment, use of plastics carry bags was declared a punishable offence in Jharkhand in September 2017 and the state government had put a blanket ban on manufacturing, import, storage, transportation, usage and sale of plastic bags. The workings of the state at every level and different levels were affected. Unfortunately, people even started stocking up plastic bags so that they run out of it on a short duration. This clearly shows the dependency level. At first no major impact was seen but within few weeks it was evident when vendors refused to give a plastic bag with the commodities bought. From vegetable sellers to shopkeepers to restaurants everyone either offered a paper bag or asked customers to fetch their own. What came across as a disappoint was the extra charge that was being cost on paper/cloth bags though the amount varied from Rs. 20 to Rs. 5 but people did frown. What came around as a mini revolution is that people started carrying paper bags of their own. A few schools also carried out workshops to teach simple ways of making paper and cloth bags. Some commodities were and still are unimaginable without plastic packaging for example- milk packets. The replacement to it isn’t impossible but costly like a glass bottle. Hence, plastic used in nurseries(parks and gardens) and to package food products and milk were exempted from this ban. Nevertheless use of plastic carry bags declined largely during that period, as retail traders were scared of hefty fines of up to Rs.1 lakh and a jail term of five years. Customers too, to some extent got into the habit of using cloth and paper made bags. Unfortunately, 3 years later plastic has gotten it’s way back into the markets of Ranchi, Jharkhand. Vegetable, fruit, fish and meat sellers are using polythene bags, that too of low quality, without any hurdle. In 2017-18, Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) had set up enforcement teams to impose the ban in 53 wards of the state capital. The teams were active for few months. They conducted several raids in malls and markets collected fines. However, such drives are hardly visible anymore. Although the use of plastic has extensively declined in malls and shopping complexes, which signalled success of the ban.

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