With so much fanfare, the ban of Single use Plastic and Polythene bags is implemented in the Indian state of Tamilnadu on January, 2019. There was indeed a new ‘paper-wave’ and ‘cloth-wave’ in the state. Response from people was overwhelming- they even thought the time has finally come that the streets and waterbodies will turn green, but
the industrial reception was mixed. The Plastic lobby tried to play hard through its length to roll back or to seek extension. Other side was handful of new age environment conscious entrepreneurs and women’s self groups that took the josh of State ban to get their hands into production. The gross sentiment was astounding and appreciative.
Six months down, we caught with IPL, Union Elections – but this excitement with the end user remains. But like any enforcement, there’s also a bit of defaulting as well.
Reasons why People cannot come off Plastics
Plastics are cheaper. Yes, and they can make our rivers and landfills cheap too. We’ve already had enough.
There’s no ready alternatives. This is a total lie- The Paper bag manufacturers and Cloth bags are totally in reach. A decent PR is as well done by the Municipalities and the Pollution Control Boards.
Well, they are super expensive. Sure- Paper starch and Cotton are a harvest of nature and mostly built in a sustainable way.. unlike Plastics, that come as a by product of Petrol. It takes more innovation in coming times to make them cost efficient, but for now let’s bear it together. The trade off is beautiful- greater design possibilities on Paper bags and super felxi usage in Cotton bags.
So keeping the reasons aside, here’s how we can solve and run the no-plastic show together.
How we can solve and run the no-plastic show together
States. The Governing body is the epitome of rules and its enforcement. Here’s what the state might do:
- Municipalities should issue the notice to all trade bodies (and reissue every quarter ) until we are safe.
- Bring visible banners across Government offices and the Highways.
- Articulate people what all is banned and why.
- Provide them with alternatives. Provide the contacts, wherever possible.
- Random checks can be done, but shouldn’t be enforced. After all, people should be aware of using Plastic and its shortcomings.
Traders. Have to know that we are staying in this game long enough, so never play it short. Things the retailers/ manufacturers should be aware of:
- You decide the market. Take the responsibility in your shoulder
- Be proud about how People and Products step out of your store.
- Don’t let State or the consumer question you. You hold the pride.
Consumers. It’s just the election time. Democracy has taught us the voter hold the final word. So,
- if you see a retailer next time, ask her/him. It’s the power of your simple question that translates the whole cycle backwards. We have seen enough water fills, streets and farmlands being polluted.
- But yes, byob (bring your own bag) is such a cool thing and has gained traction of late. Reuse, reuse, reuse.
This listing is an attempt to provide awareness to all of us regardless of where we live and if you have any further comment to add to the cause and solution, please do so that it can be brought in to the blog post on next iteration.
If you like this post, you might also like our super analogious Ban on Plastics.