The new rules, under the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, put a complete ban on the use of plastic. Even small plastic sachets used to pack gutkhas, pan maslas and other tobacco products would not be allowed.
The rules also prohibit the use of recycled plastics for storage or packing purposes. However environment minister Jairam Ramesh is not in favour of putting a ban on plastic as he says it is impractical and will also hamper the plastic industry which has employed many. Instead he suggests that we should improve the municipal solid waste management system.
Many environment groups have come forward and raised voice against use of plastic. But government pulled back the complete ban as it is not a very pragmatic solution to the hazards caused by plastic.
Use of plastic is a threat to the environment and putting a complete ban on plastic will cause turbulence in the plastic industry, which is another cause of concern. The government needs to think of a mid way to protect the environment as well as efficiently managing the waste.