Last Friday, India took the most unique decision taken by a government in the country’s history regarding environmental protection.
Accordingly, the Indian government has taken measures to ban the use of single-use plastics in the country. There are several products including single-use plastic drinking straws, spoons and forks, plastic packaging, balloon holders, ice cream containers, and cigarette packets.
This decision of the Government of India was officially announced last Friday. This plastic ban is implemented under several steps, and in its first step, the 19 banned plastic products have been named as products that have a special requirement and can have a great impact on the environment. Accordingly, the production, import, possession, distribution, and sale of those plastic items will be strictly prohibited.
It has also been decided to increase the thickness of some plastic bags and direct the bags to be reused. However, the plastic manufacturers have requested the Indian government to cancel this law and they have pointed out that there is a risk of losing jobs to a large number of people due to the new ban.
Regarding this ban, Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadam has told the media that this plastic ban was a decision that was supposed to be implemented for several years.
India, which has the second-largest population in the world, is currently facing severe environmental pollution. India’s recent rapid economic growth has also been one of the reasons for that. Here, many products use a large amount of single-use plastic.
These plastics are often released into the environment without proper methods. Due to this, India’s water sources and rivers were heavily polluted, and the animals that lived in those environmental conditions also died in large numbers.
However, the fact that this ban has not been applied to single-use plastic bottles, which have a severe environmental impact, has created a problematic situation. According to the report, some parties have started questioning this ban as plastic bottles constitute the largest percentage of plastic waste in India.
In this regard, the Government of India says that the plastic bottle manufacturers have been given targets for proper disposal and recycling of related products.
Several major food and beverage companies including Coca Cola and Pepsi have asked the Indian government to remove drinking straws from this ban. Meanwhile, several other companies accuse that they have not been given enough time to comply with this law and change their products accordingly.