Delhi: Apart from the sumptuous food and fabric in the markets, the other thing we buy is plastic. From polythene bags to spoons and plates at joints, markets are dominant producers of single-use plastics.
According to the new circular released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), single-use plastics will be banned in entire India beginning July 1, 2022. The Centre has barred the manufacturing, distribution, importing, sale, stocking and use of all single-use plastic, comprising polystyrene and expanded polystyrene commodities (from July 1) across the country. There would be a fine imposed on violating this law.
Single-use plastic or disposable plastic is discarded after one use and cannot be recycled. Unlike degradable goods, it does not break down and remains in the environment for a long time. It can enter our food chain through the soil and water and affect our health. According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 300 million tonnes of waste is produced every year in the world.
CPCB has released a long list of plastic items that will be banned:
CitySpidey talked to owners and workers of restaurants/street food joints, street shop owners and some consumers to know their reactions to this decision.
Ram Sharma from Pasta Express, Dwarka, who uses wooden cutlery in this restaurant says, "Plastic cutleries can be replaced with wooden cutleries. Banning plastic is a very good decision by the government for the environment and the planet.
He continues, "The decision to ban plastic has been imposed several times but has never been implemented due to the insufficient availability of alternatives. Price is a challenge. Plastic cutleries are cheap and that is why they're used by all food sellers. Moreover, another challenge is that wooden cutlery is not that user-friendly. The long-term scope of this depends on the availability of effective and cost-friendly alternatives."
A kachori seller near Barakhamba road, "I use plastic bags and spoons as it is affordable. Of course, it would affect us if plastic spoons are banned. If the government wants to ban plastic, they must provide us with alternatives like wooden spoons so no one's work is affected."
Similarly, a vendor selling clothes says, "I would have no problem in using cloth bags instead of polythenes if they are available at the same cost or if the government can provide us.
We also talked to some residents to know their reactions. Sagar, a student from Delhi, says, "I support the idea of banning single-use plastic. This is an important decision taken by the government but I hope this time it lasts for a longer time than previous times."
Kavita, a librarian from Delhi says, "Such large plastic wastes pollute our water bodies, and cause hazards for the human and animal life. We all know the negative impacts of plastics on our life but strict rules and restrictions must be implemented by the side of government to reduce its consumption."