From midnight of June 30th, usage, selling, stocking, and manufacturing of Single Use Plastics have been banned. This announcement comes from the Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2021 through the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
When synthetic plastic was first invented by Alexander Parkes and later patented by Dr. Leo Baekeland in 1907, none would have fathomed the extent to which this material will cause environmental problems after considering the economic benefits.
Why is the plastic ban enforced?
The single use plastics has been causing one of the combating pollution and also the environmental concern for all the nations. The detorial factors of these littered single use plastics on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, are acknowledged globally.
Single use plastics has become of the major pollutants of water bodies and soil. When these plastics remain on landfills for years they release toxic gases like methane and carbondioxide that is hazardous to human and other living creatures. Around the landfill, due to the emission of toxic gases the soil gets contaminated and becomes no use for agriculture.
To recycle single use plastic products is one of the biggest challenges, they are spread on the planet everywhere. When these turn into microplastics, they involve in our foodchain that affects human health.
Everyday we consume, inhale and ingest microplastics. These tiny particles enter inside our body and harm organs and causes chronic disorders like hormone related malignancies, infertility, neuro-developmental disorders.
How will the plastic ban help environment?
Around 15% of single plastic is burnt every day and the toxic gases and chemicals like dioxins, furans, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are released into the environemnt. This causes air pollution and respiratory issues in the human body and other living creatures too.
If these single used plastic is banned, the pollution is cintrlled and so is health conditions of living creatures.
Which plastic products are banned?
According to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, following are the products that are permanently banned,
- Ear buds with plastic sticks
- Plastic sticks for balloons
- Plastic flags
- Candy sticks
- Ice- cream sticks
- Polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration
- Plastic plates
- Cutleries like forks, spoons, knives, straw
- Wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes,
What are the alternatives to some single use plastic?
Well, plastic has become a part of our lives and when these are banned what are the alternatives to single use plastic? The answer is simple, choose the products that can be reusable or biodegradable. Let’s name a few
- Cloth bags instead of plastics
- Bamboo earbuds instead of plastic stick buds
- Reusable spoons and forks instead of single use one’s
- Bring your own coffee glass instead of paper cups
- Avoid disposable straws, use steel straws or bamboo straws
- Reduce using disposable water bottles, use reusable one’s
- Use cloth bags for grocery shopping
- Say no to balloons at a party, try origami décor
- Switch to bamboo toothbrush
- Try reusable napkins instead of wipes
- Switch to menstrual cup instead of plastic pads
- Switch to reusable cloth diapers instead of plastic diapers
These simple alternatives pretty much avoids the plastic usage from our daily lives. Let's take small steps towards plastic free journey and get closer to environment.
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