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Modi's Initiative of Ban on Single Use Plastic
O.N. Koul10/23/2019 10:25:13 PM
Modi is a shrewd politician and an innovator. He is known for his innovative skills and his quality of taking bold decisions. He is taking bold and new decisions one after other and is making history. His Swatcha Bharat Abhiyan has attracted the attention of the masses and within no time it became a peoples movement thanks to the launch of this campaign by no less a man than his Excellency the Prime Minister Narender Modi. If we delve into history, it becomes obvious that it was none else than Mahatma Gandhi who has the privilege of being the first person to have launched the sanitation and cleanliness campaign. In today's India it is Narender Modi who has got the distinction of being the propounder and launcher of the sanitation campaign in its new form of Swatcha Abiyan. It has been started nationwide with the involvement of the politicians, government functionaries, Officers, schools, panchayats and the like. We have seen the PM, ministers, MPs, MLAs, district magistrates etc. with long brooms in their hands sweeping roads and lanes. These are more photo opportunity events than sanitation and cleanliness campaigns. Thus the whole campaign is symbolic in nature. Now a novel and new initiative of ban on single use plastic has been launched with great fanfare. Banning plastic and polythene is a good imitative as it is directly connected with the health and hygiene of the people. The importance of banning plastic can be gauged from the hoarding at the UNGA building which attracted the attention of Narender Modi and he told the world body that India has already started campaign of banning plastic and very soon we will be able to ban use of plastic. Plastic is a health hazard and its ill effects on health and hygiene are big. Polythene carry bags in which people carry eatables including vegetables is risky as it has serious effects on health of the people. Plastic and polythene materials and bags are a danger for environment and it creates pollution and it destroys the fertility of earth. Single use plastic is a danger not only for human life but it is dangerous for the animals that eat it. Plastic and polythene is not decomposed and it is bad for the earth as well and as such should be banned and governmental efforts only cannot fight this plastic problem. It should become a peoples movement and not remain confined as a governmental campaign like the swatch Bharth Abhiyan. Nor should it become a political movement like the sanitation and cleanliness campaign. Since the ban on single use plastic seems to be a small thing but then all great things have small beginnings. These days schools, hospitals, panchayats, block offices etc. are vigorously campaigning for ban on plastic and polythene which is a welcome step and need of the day. The people should be made aware of the adverse effects of the use of plastic bags and polythene carry bags. Symbolic campaigns like those of sanitation movement are not needed as they will not make any difference on the ground. Governmental laws and efforts alone are not enough to ban the use of plastic. It should truly become a peoples movement for success. People should be made aware of the alternatives of polythene and single use plastic. People should be accustomed to use of paper bags, jute bags, cloth carry bags and other alternatives of plastic. Both swash Bharat mission and the campaign of ban on single use plastic should not be made political campaigns nor politicized. These should be through and through peoples' movements like the sanitation and cleanliness campaign of Mahatma Ghandi who never made these initiatives political movements. The millions of tons of plastic swirling around the worlds oceans have generated a lot of media attention recently. The plastic pollution poses a bigger threat to the plants and animals including humans who are based on land. A very small quantity of the plastic that we discard every day is recycled or incinerated in waste-to-energy facilities. Much of it ends up in landfills where it takes up 1000 years to decompose, leading potentially toxic substances into the soil and tape water. Micro plastic in soils, sediments and fresh water could have a long-term negative effect on such ecosystems. Smaller particles of less than five millimeters are called microplastics and these break down further into nanoplastics. The problem is that these particles are entering the food chain. Micro plastics can even be found in tape water. Generally speaking, when plastic particles breakdown, they gain new physical and chemical properties, increasing the risk that they will have a toxic effect on organisms. Microplastics also get into our water and this is of great concern. In brief the total ban on single use plastic is a good measure. But it is very disturbing that the Modi government has now taken a U turn on its decision of strict ban on the plastics perhaps under the pressure of the associations of trade and industry.
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