What plastic does to the environment is something we are all familiar with. From killing aquatic animals by clogging riverbeds and seabeds to killing animals who eat up plastic bags, this one synthetic product has done us and our fellow beings more harm than anything else ever could. India is responsible for around 60% of the 8.8 million tons of plastic that is dumped into the world’s oceans every year, making us rank among the top four plastic polluters in the world. Definitely a ranking we cannot be very proud of.
All this put together, banning of disposable plastic in Delhi and NCR is a welcome move. In December 2016 the National Green Tribunal passed a law that banned disposable plastic. The law came into force early this year and has taken into its ambit plastic bags, chai cups and cutlery.
Local dumping sites in Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalswa that operate as waste-to-energy plants could also have served as a push to this move. Residents of these areas have often complained about how mass burning of this sort causes air pollution. With all our skyscraping levels of air pollution already in tow, plastics adding to the trouble is the last thing the environment needs.
Since quite a few years now, several attempts have been made to ban plastic and replace it with jute, paper and other bio-degradable substances. You must have noticed how most chai-wallahs have also now made a smooth transition to paper cups and how some shops refuse to give us plastic carry bags. Here’s hoping banning plastic does Delhi’s pullution levels some good and helps put ecological balance back in place.