Environmentalists advocate use of metal bottles instead of plastic ones

NEW DELHI: In raising questions about the plastic waste generated by the Capital, environmentalists have suggested increasing use of thermosteel bottles instead of plastic ones. A recent survey found that nearly 70 per cent of the plastic waste in Delhi comes from plastic bottles.

Metals like copper and steel can become best alternatives for plastic bottles and these metals have health benefits too.

Environmentalists fear that the huge economic value of the plastic industry has become a deterrent to effective imposition of its ban nationwide.

A big obstacles to the implementation of plastic ban on the ground is the lack of political will, they say.

According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), plastic consumption in India went up to three lakh tonnes in 2000 from 61,000 tonnes in 1996, and is predicted to rise to 178 lakh tonnes this year.

The central government, in 2011, initiated the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, which mandate proper systems to ensure waste segregation and plastic disposal. It also includes identifying and shutting down unregistered plastic manufacturing units.

However, a 2016 report by CPCB states that most Indian states have not implemented the rules. The report states that, "plastic bags are stocked, sold and used indiscriminately" even in those 17 states and Union Territories where they are completely banned.

To combat the plastic waste in Delhi, environmental activiists have urged reducing use of the plastic bottles as they not only cause waste pollution but their overuse may cause cancer.

"To combat plastic pollution, we should become very realistic. It is not only the government's responsibility to form policies against plastic use, but corporates should

also come forward and promote use of metal made bottles and other utensils," said an environmental expert.

Since last year, various small corporate groups have come forward with manufacturing thermosteel and copper bottles.

"Copper bottles serve as perfect alternative for plastic ones. As a pledge to ban plastic and stop hazardous pollution, choose the right alternative," said Navaid Nowshah of United Group, one of the first companies in India to come up with copper bottles.

He explained that copper bottles help in maintaining digestive health, prevent risk of cancer, heal wounds and relieves joint pain, prevent cell damage and slows down ageing, aids weight loss, helps in maintaining heart health, improving skin and hair health.

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