Single-use plastics, also known as disposable plastics, are those plastic products that are used only once before being discarded or recycled. Most of these are used for packaging, food wrapping, straws, etc. Polymers used to produce single-use plastics are HDPE, LDPE, PET, PP, PS, and EPS.
Talking about India’s plastic industry, over INR 3.5 lakh crore of annual revenue was generated in the financial year 2018-19. Since plastics are linked to the growth of each and every sector, the industry is one of the fastest growing in India.
India, the world’s soon-to-be the most populous country, is facing its worst environmental crisis in terms of single-use plastic pollution. According to the data of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the country generates 25,940 tons of plastic waste every day that is equal to the weight of over 9,000 elephants. The data also revealed that 10,376 tons of waste is not even collected. India’s five largest megacities Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru produce half of the total plastic waste.
Latest researches have found that toxic elements found in plastics can affect the human Endocrine system. This may lead to problems such as birth defects, infertility, cancer, etc.
In his speech on the eve of Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the countrymen to ban single-use plastic. He stressed on the implementation of freeing India from single-use plastic by 2nd October. On the occasion of World Environment Day last year, India had voluntarily vowed to put an end to single-use plastics by 2022.
Although most of India’s states have already banned plastic carry bags, it’s below standard implementation has hardly seen any impact. A nationwide ban on single-use plastics seems the only reliable solution in the way of making India plastic-waste-free. The fact that plastic industries generate a good chunk of employment in the country is making the proper implementation difficult. For this, it is very important that the government and plastic industry associations should sit on a table and decide the way forward.
A number of companies in India have started manufacturing eco-friendly and biodegradable carry bags and other items that can substitute plastics in our daily life. Bio Green Bags, Zedpack, Bio-D, Envi Green, etc. are some of the startups that are contributing to making the world beautiful by focusing on the production of only green-friendly bags and products. The success of these eco-friendly players is an inspiration for those who aspire to see this earth green and beautiful.