NEW DELHI: The government’s decision to ban single-use plastic (SUP) products has left the daily retailers of prominent markets in the national capital in a state of bewilderment. Chandni Chowk, one of the most well-known markets shared some contrasting views on the ban.
Mohan Pandey, who runs a saree shop in the market welcomed the decision and said, “The administration has taken a wise action. Plastic poses a serious threat to our ecology. If we throw the plastic in a trash, any stray animal could eat it, if we throw it on the ground, the soil quality would degrade, and if we burn it, our lungs would suffer.”
He added that his shop was already prepared for such a transition as they started using cloth bags to deliver sarees to the customers. Sharing a different view, Bunty said that the ban on SUP items would create problems for small shopkeepers like him, who still have not recovered from the lockdown impact. He said, “How can one carry products in a paper/cloth bag on days when it is raining heavily? Polyethenes are more preferable than paper.”
He added, “Sarees never catch eyes when kept in a paper bag, however, polyethenes having a glossy quality attracts customers. They are also cheaper than paper and jute bags.” Prahalad, (72), who owns a flower shop at the market, believed that these bans are a mere hype. “I have seen the government implementing such bans on SUP items earlier as well but nothing changed. The same will happen this time too,” he said.
The ban on SUP items came into effect on Friday. The rule bans manufacturing, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of SUP items. The law would cover rigid plastic items such as plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, wrapping or packaging films, PVC banners less than 100 micron, straws, and stirrers.
The government has decided to be lenient with the violators for the first 10 days and has started a significant campaign to raise awareness about the usage of such products and encourage the adoption of their substitutes. As per Environment Protection Act, 1986, the violators will be fined up to Rs 1 lakh or a jail term of up to five years or both.