Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], July 1 (ANI): With the ban on identified single-use plastic items coming into effect from Friday, environmentalists and shopkeepers in Ranchi have welcomed the decision and said it should be banned strictly.
Shopkeepers said it is a crucial step as part of efforts to protect the environment. They also said that alternatives such as paper or cloth bags are being used and they are discouraging the use of polythene.
"The ban should be implemented strictly as it is good for the environment," a shopkeeper said.
Dr Nitish Priyadarshi, an environmentalist said plastic should have been banned long ago. "Its toxicity, directly or indirectly, finds its way to our bodies leading to severe consequences. Toxic fumes released by burning plastic can cause air and water pollution, skin and eye irritation, breathing problems, and death of animals who swallow the hazardous item," he said.
Priyadarshi said the use of plastic also leads to the choking of drains.
He urged people to have an environment-conscious approach and carry their own jute and cloth bags to the market and discourage others from using plastic items.
Single-use plastics are typically items that are discarded after being used only once and do not go through the recycling process.
The Union Environment Ministry had notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules on August 12, 2021.
The ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential, has come into force from July 1.
The list of banned items includes - earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than seventy-five microns with effect from September 30, 2021.
The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in the marine environment are globally recognized. (ANI)