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Mounting Plastic Waste

With the surge in plastic refuse, the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality will not work.

 

Public pronouncements are regularly made by political leaders to ban plastic use. These have not, however, received a firm and determinative response. For instance, it was announced by the Prime Minister that India will be made plastic pollution free, but a blanket ban on single-use plastic as part of a broader campaign to “rid” India of it by 2022 was held off. It is a measure that was perceived to cause further disruption in the economy that is facing a slowdown, as it could lead to a closure of about 10,000 industrial units, besides inviting the dismay of consumer firms.

Even with speculations of a ban, it was evident that the basic groundwork was missing. There remains a lack of clarity on the definition of single-use plastic, with no guidelines issued regarding its usage or any clear plans forwarded to stop the usage or to provide for alternatives. While individual bans in different states have also not proved to be a solution, there is undoubtedly a need for phasing out the problematic plastics that cannot be recycled. Most single-use plastic products are consumed and discarded within a few minutes of their use. E-commerce giants and packaged food item companies are major users of such plastic.

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Updated On : 22nd Nov, 2019

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