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PM Modi's target to say Goodbye to plastics by 2022
9/10/2019 9:54:45 PM
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit

KUDOS to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for his leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, by launching a campaign with a ban on as many as six items on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a welcome movement that Modi government is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws on October 2 in its most sweeping measure yet to stamp out single-use plastics from cities and villages that rank among the world's most polluted.
These include plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachet. Every day we come across different types of plastic in your lives, be it a lunch box or more commonly a plastic bag. But have we ever thought how a plastic bag is made and what happens to it once we discard it in waste. Both these aspects are extremely important as they are one of the major environmental concerns for the entire world. Keeping in mind the sad state of the environment and the kind of risk we have imposed, the right measures need to be taken at the earliest. Plastic bags that end up in water bodies cause deleterious effects to aquatic life. The policy of recycling plastic bags has terribly failed because people do not adhere to rules as they are ignorant regarding harmful effects of plastics. As plastic is non-biodegradable, it takes almost 5000 years for the degradation to take place. Plastic bag wastes cannot be even disposed of through incineration as the process releases harmful gases that can deteriorate the atmosphere.
In an Independence Day speech on August 15, PM Modi had already urged people and government agencies to "take the first big step" on October 2 towards freeing the country of single-use plastic. He has rightly stressed that citizens must buy indigenous products and must strive to make the policy of "Make In India" a success.
Studies shows that concerns are now growing worldwide about plastic pollution, with a particular focus on the oceans, where nearly 50 per cent of single-use plastic products end up, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, studies show. Millions of trees are cut to produce paper. A shortage of tree has led to diminishing forests and disturbed environmental cycle. Shortage of trees has cause many natural calamities like draught and landslides. This is also one of the reasons for why plastic bags should not be banned. Banning them would mean that we will forever be free from the extreme damages it causes on our environment. Our lands and oceans will have a lot less litter in them. The adverse health effects it causes on humans, animals and marine life is irrevocable. Banning them will tread us on a much healthier journey.
The government also plans tougher environmental standards for plastic products and will insist on the use of recyclable plastic only. With global warming on the rise, we have to do every bit that we can to save the environment. The major chemicals that go into the making of plastic are highly toxic and pose a serious threat to living beings of all species on earth. While there should be a strict ban on plastics, considering its ill-effects on the human beings and the environment, people should desist from accepting material in plastic bags. It is the moral duty of people to refrain from using plastic bags. While educating people on the need to shun plastic, we also need to make available cheaper, safer, durable alternatives. Cloth and jute bags need to be attractively priced, easily available. Authorities alone cannot be blamed for the plastic pollution. If every individual resolves not to use plastic bags, our cities would be much better places to live in. Unless we honestly implement all ways to eliminate plastic, its ill-effects will continue to be with us. The little that we can do without much effort from our side is to say "no" to plastic bags and support our PM Modi's efforts to scrap plastics by 2022.
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