Tamil Nadu Govt Says "No" To Single-Use Disposable Plastic, Bans Use From 2019 Onward
With the new year ringing in, Tamil Nadu is all set to ban plastics from January 1, 2019. Assuring its residents of a plastic-free city, they have been asked to surrender all the banned plastic items that include plastic cups, sheets, straws and bags at their respective corporate ward offices by Monday, December 31, 2018, reported The New Indian Express.
Reportedly, the Chennai Corporation will continue with its plastic ban awareness programmes and has also requested the citizens to switch to greener alternatives.
How was the ban initiated?
The plastic ban was initiated in Tamil Nadu after Chief Minister Edappadi K Pallanaswami declared his intention of a prohibition of non-reusable plastic products in the assembly. Later, the government issued an order to the effect on June 25. However, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Plastic Manufacturers Association (TAPMA) were unhappy with the decision, and had objected the plastic ban and had filed a petition in Madras High Court claiming that it will affect their business.
“The government order bans all forms of plastics packaging including small retail outlets, grocery shops, whereas the same is permitted for MNCs and FMCG companies. This will hit the businesses of over 200,000 small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, sweet shops, etc.,” TAPMA had said to The News Minute.
But a bench comprising Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice PT Asha dismissed the plea filed by TAPMA further giving the nod on a plastic ban on December 27.
What are banned?
To free the state from plastic, the government has banned items like plastic sheet /cling film used for food wrapping, plastic thermocol plates, plastic coated paper plates, plastic carry bag, water pouches, plastic straw and plastic coated carry bags. The ban is welcomed by most people in the state, where the local civic bodies headed by corporation commissioner D Karthikeyan met other officers from the ward and decided to implement the ban along with zonal officers engineer, health officer, Tahsildar, assistant commissioner of police.
Similarly, they will seize banned plastic items from residents, and commercial places will be used to lay tar roads in the city.
Will they have a vigilant check on all plastic products?
Meanwhile, according to the Times of India report, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNCB) with the help of Commercial Taxes Department and Sales Tax department has decided to stop the entry of banned plastic products. They have gathered all the information on possible trucks that will enter the state through 29 interstate checkpoints. The board also issued legal notices to all the 1,400 plastic manufacturing units around the state. Reportedly, around 60% of the problem will be solved after the trucks entering from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat are stopped.
According to Anwar Saleem, vice-president of the George Town Plastic Traders Association, a similar ban was announced in Maharashtra, but yet all banned plastic products are still available in the black market. “We will bribe officials to get our trucks in,” he added.
On the other side, TNCB officials spoke to the Times of India and said, “They will check and confiscate the materials along with regional transport offices, police and commercial department .”
Other states that have also banned plastic
The ‘Queen of Hills’ Ooty paved the way to plastic ban in Tamil Nadu by saying “no” to plastic and shifting to eco-friendly alternatives more than a year ago, because of proactive anti-plastic drive by the district administration officers and environmentally conscious citizens. As per NDTV reports, at least 25 states and union territories have some form of a ban on plastic in India.
Although plastic bags are a threat to the environment, we cannot ignore the convenience that it provides us in our daily life. But what is temporarily convenient for us has the capability to harm the environment in the worst way possible. The initiative taken by Tamil Nadu to free its state of plastic would be the first step towards protecting its natural integrity. The Logical Indian appreciates the Tamil Nadu government for its effort to create a better future and at the same time urges the citizens to proactively make an effort to stop the usage of single-use plastic items.