Though, there are various problems associated with single use plastics, a number of challenges needs to be faced after the blanket ban, on their use is imposed. Discuss.

Single use plastics refer to plastic that can be used only once and it cannot be recycled. They are discarded after their first use and end up into landfills, contributing to pollution.

Problems associated:

  • It is non-biodegradable.
  • Plastics when burnt releases carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, oxides of Nitrogen, and other harmful organic compounds.
  • Plastics clogs the urban drainage system.
  • Plastic if ingested by animals causes painful diseases and death.
  • Plastic in landfill generates harmful odour and gases.
  • Plastic breaks down into micro beads and affect the aquatic and marine life.

India has recently banned the use of single-use plastics. However, there are several challenges, which needs to be addressed after the ban:

  • It can lead to shutdown of large number of plastic manufacturing firms.
  • It can cause job losses.
  • It can affect associated MSMEs.
  • It can disrupt upstream chemical industries and downstream vendors.
  • Substitute packaging material is not easily available.

Therefore, following steps are needed along with ban:

  • Promote research on alternatives and substitutes.
  • Scaling up of workers in plastic firms so that they can seek alternative employment.
  • Technological upgradation and transformation of plastic manufacturing companies to other companies.
  • Gradual transformation and phase-wise plastic usage reduction targets to give industries time to transition.

Ban on single-use plastic is a welcome step, but the problems raised due to the blanket ban needs to be solved on priority basis to help the affected sections of society.

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