In a recent announcement, the Tamil Nadu Government has planned to ban the use of single-use plastics from January 2019. On the event of International Environment day, Chief Minister K Palaniswami proudly announced the ban in the state assembly offering Tamil Nadu as a “Gift of a plastic-free state” to future generations.
The ban would come into effect from January 2019, said Palaniswami. The items banned include plastic cups, paper, water sachets, plastic straws, and single-use carry bags as of now. The government is planning to ban the manufacture, sale, usage, and storage of more items in the future.
No exceptions have been made on the micron size of the plastic, however, packaging used for medical equipment and polythene sachets for curd, oil, milk are exempted from the ban.
This is not the first time anything like this has happened. In her days as a Cheif Minister, Jayalilatha had made similar efforts and had constituted an expert panel for the ban of plastic back in 2002. The panel had suggested banning disposable plastics like bags, cups, and plates and replacing those items with traditional items made of plantain leaves and palm leaves.
Palaniswami stated that plastics are non-biodegradable and they remain on the soil for years impeding water flow. It results in stagnation and affects the flow of sewage. He further added saying, “It prevents percolation of rainwater into the soil, thus affecting the increase in underground water”.
The plastic ban is brought under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, and it would come into effect from January 1, 2019. Considering the huge problems that plastic is causing, the government is all set to make amends to ensure more plastic is not left behind for future generations.
One very good thing is the government has not only banned the manufacturing but also the use of plastic. Which is commendable!! It is not only the government but also the consumer that must work towards making conscious decisions.
EcoRight proudly supports the Tamil Nadu plastic ban. We wish more and more states follow suit and implement a ban on single-use plastics.