Plastic garbage is increasingly becoming a crisis and one of the most important problems of the world right now. Many countries have already introduced a complete or a partial ban on plastic while others are on their way to do it.
The plastic ban in India had a mixed response from the states with only four states to implement the ban up to now. The latest addition to this list of states is Tamil Nadu. On January 01, 2019, Tamil Nadu implemented a ban on single-use plastics. The first India state to ban the plastics was Maharashtra, which was followed by Telangana and Himachal Pradesh.
The hotel industry of Tamil Nadu left shocked when the state introduced a ban on single-use plastics on January 01, 2019 as they were still looking for alternatives. In a fresh advisory issued by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on the New Year, they asked the industries to comply with the ban and take measure to cut the use of single-use plastics. They were also asked to put up a display of metal at the entrance of the industry in order to let the visitors know of the implemented ban. The board has also, further, suggested to declare the premise of the industry as a ‘plastic-free zone’.
Maharashtra was the first state in India to implement the plastic ban. Last year on March 23, the state announced a ban on manufacturing, using, transporting, wholesale, and retailing of the plastic bags and disposable products made from plastic and thermocol. These products are used in very high numbers for packaging by hotels. Later, on April 11, 2018, the ban was lifted from PET bottles. However, manufacturers of the bottles were asked to deploy a mechanism to make sure that the used bottles are recycled. While the ban on single-use plastics has been successful so far, the mechanism to recycle the PET bottles is not in place yet.
The ban on single-use plastics was announced in Telangana on June 14, 2018. The notification issued by the government of the state called for a ban on PET bottles and single-use plastics like straws, disposable utensils, cutlery, etc. This ban was mandatory for all offices of urban local bodies while the general public was asked to give up plastic bags and avoid the usage of other single-use plastics. However, the ban has not been completely successful while the usage of plastics has definitely decreased.
Himachal Pradesh banned the single-use plastics on July 06, 2018. In a notification, the government banned the use of plastic bags and all non-biodegradable single-use plastic items. The violation of the ban can lead to a fine of Rs. 500 to Rs. 25,000. So far, the ban is being implemented properly in the state with a few chances of ignorance by the tourists.
Other than these four states, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have also banned products a few single-use plastics. Sikkim has only banned the plastic bags but the ban has been in place since 1998. The plastic crisis is such that more states need to come forward and implement the ban. The plastic ban in India is one of the most needed steps right now to curb this rising problem.