Single use plastic ban

Published on December 18, 2020 by

Single use plastic makes a comeback despite bans
In spite of prolonged campaigns to stop using plastic by both the Central and the State governments, plastic is widely being used now more than ever.
December 1, 2020 | Written by Shreya Mathews
Kerala: The single use plastic ban enforced by the Kerala government appears to have taken a back seat in the face of the pandemic. The use of plastic has increased across the State of Kerala despite a ban by the Kerala government earlier this year.
Benson, a small-town shopkeeper says, “The ban initially was a relief. I had stocked up on cloth bags which my wife had made. There was a remarkable difference because usually plastic bags block the drains. But I have now started using plastic covers because it is cheaper and I get it from the Wholesale market.” The demand for single use plastic ban has increased because it can be discarded after single use.
The ban by the Kerala government initially saw a strict compliance. However, even with the ban in place single-use plastic is freely available in shops. There have been hypermarkets in Kochi who have been supplying plastic gloves to customers as well as street vendors, banks have been supplying plastic gloves to their customers, employees respectively. They use it because it is economical.
Gopal, a garbage-collector for the Corporation says, “When the ban was imposed there was not much plastic waste compared to the previous months. However, when the lockdown happened there was an increase in the plastic gloves, bags because of the virus.”
Nirmala Padmanabhan, an environmental expert says that the plastic ban was a step in the right direction, however, lots of incentives and commitments are needed to alter the behaviour of different stakeholders. Plastic is easily available and on short notice. This is the reason why, despite the ban everyone including the governments both at the Centre and the State reverting back to plastics because there was a graver concern to address that is the pandemic.
Keywords: ban, plastics, pandemic, floods