n a TV Panel discussion, Mr. Afroz Shah, leading lawyer and environmentalist said “Plastic is cost effective and mitigates global warming. We have converted it to pollution. We should Beat Plastics Pollution and Not Plastics.”
He however strongly supported the ban on single use and non essential plastics products such as straws, thermocol decoration etc.
There is confusion on what products fall under single use definition and are hence banned. For example food containers used by restaurants for home delivery are invariably used multiple times to store, to heat, to carry and share food. To avoid confusion, Mr. Afroz recommended that that the government should clearly define what constitutes single use plastics
There are alternatives to few of the plastic products. However sufficient time is needed to train a population of over 60 million on their availability and use. Mr. Afroz said that in his experience more time would be needed to train such a large population and to make this exercise a success. Law is flouted when it is not in tune with ground reality and it would be essential to train the population to make the ban a success.
Ms Nidhi Choudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, BMC added that alternative to garbage bin liner is liner in form of compostible bag. However there are only a handful of certified manufacturers and availability at grass root level is an issue. She felt that the government could consider a temporary relief for garbage bag.
Mr. Hiten Bheda, President All India Plastics Manufacturers Association and Mr. Neemit Punamiya, General Secretary of the Plastic Bag Manufacturing Association were the other two eminent panelist and presented facts on loss of jobs and time needed to find alternatives