People across the globe have come to realise the disastrous consequences of the rampant use of plastic materials as these materials bring about environmental pollution for being non-biodegradable. Different countries are adopting diverse measures to minimise or ban the manufacture and use of plastic products, more importantly polythene bags.
In such a scenario, the Odisha Government imposed ban on some plastic products such as poly bags, cups, plates, glasses, spoons, pouches, thermocol materials, polythene sheets of less than 50 micron thickness, water bottles of less than 500 ml capacity through notified guidelines from October 2, 2018. The objective is to impose such a ban in the whole State in course of next two years. The move was highly appreciated by environmental activists and civil society organisations.
“But to our utter dismay, the move has turned out to be confined to slogan shouting similar to the failure of the earlier ban on tobacco products ‘gutka’ and paan masala. Now, banned plastic products are manufactured and traded without restraint and their use in markets, businesses and various social and cultural functions is conspicuously visible. It is sincerely felt that the commitment for effective monitoring is more important than imposing a ban,” the Orissa Environmental Society (OES) stated in a Press release.
“Adopting the principle of ‘strike the iron when it is hot’, stringent action should be initiated against those who are involved in the violation of the ban. This will prove the pledge of the Government for the protection of the environment. The challenging task before the administration is to lay more emphasis on the control of production and marketing than on the use of plastics,” said OES secretary Dr Jaya Krushna Panigrahi in the Press release.