Millennium Post

No plastic, please

No plastic, please

Madhya Pradesh High Court's order directing the state government to ban single-use plastic is indeed remarkable. As other parts of country sporadically desist utility of single-use plastic, the order by MP High Court could pave way for India's first single-use plastic-free state. The order also calls for the development of biodegradable carry bags of other material affordable to consumers. It carefully directs the government to ask industries to cease their production of the same besides its usage. The court order also involves compliance mechanism which calls for progress reports by all stakeholders every three months on the same. Given India's ambition to drive single-use plastic out of markets, MP High Court's order sits at a firm position to exercise such a ban. Single-use plastic, over the course of history, had become inseparable with modern lives. Revolutionary at the time of its synthesis, the single-use plastic turned out to be more evil than good. It is for this reason that global awareness has reached alarming levels calling for a ban of the same. The same enthusiasm for driving single-use plastic out of our lives was shown from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which is re-sparking its plastic-ban drive. What brings BMC's commitment more towards realisation is their past performance in June 2018. Since then, BMC procured Rs 4.6 crore in fines only. To make it a success, BMC will deploy squads in navy blue jackets that will randomly inspect locations such as gardens, institutions, etc., and has also asked for an undertaking from marriage hall managements, institutions as well as schools. BMC's modus operandi can be emulated countrywide as India as a whole needs to desist using single plastic.

The last mile implementation is where the battle for any positive change is lost. Despite bans, small scale traders, apprehensive about rising costs due to other alternatives to single-use plastic or customer retention, often end up illegally continuing with the use of plastic. Bans, in such manner, do not penetrate to the lower levels. Civic bodies across cities have to ensure that their orders of the ban are strictly followed by levying heavy fines on defaulters. In fact, the same could be done by suspending licenses of traders who fail to comply with the ban orders. By the sheer indiscipline in following ban orders, it is visible that single-use plastic is deeply entrenched our daily life. Yet, a vigorous effort to curtail its use and eradicate it from our lives should be the agenda.


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