Plastic is a useful material that comes handy in everyday life. But with all its usefulness comes the danger that plastic poses to the environment; detrimental not only to plants, wildlife but also to humans. Therefore, the government is contemplating banning single-use plastics. Interestingly banning of plastics can have severe repercussions for employment in the plastic industry. The plastic industry provides total direct employment to nearly forty lakh people across India. Furthermore, there are almost one million waste pickers in the industry that recycles close to 5.5 metric million tones substance yearly.
PM Modi is also set to eradicate single-use plastics by 2022. But the imposition of banning the blanket
has been held off. The Indian plastic industry is not prepared for it; the measure if implemented in haste can prove to be disastrous and as aftermath, nearly six thousand people will have to be laid off. The measure is also seen to be too disruptive following the economic slowdown and could also drastically affect its recuperation. Moreover, there is no direct alternative to plastics in some industries. For example, the plastic used for making bottles used for pharmaceutical or health products. Sachets made from multi-layered packaging are also indispensable as banning them could disrupt supplies of products like biscuits, salt, and milk, the confederation. They are also the cheapest and easiest way of branding. It can be used for advertisements by printing the business logo, name of the company, and other relevant information. Plastic bags are also cheaper compared to paper cloth bags and are also convenient to open, pack, and transport. This is one of the reasons they are used in the logistics and retail industry.
So rather than imposing an immediate ban on plastics, the government should create awareness among masses about the threat plastics pose to human health, wildlife, and marine life. It should also think about the employees working in this industry who will bear the brunt of this measure gets implemented. An alternate source of employment should be available for them if they lose their jobs. A check should be put to the mass production of plastics and emphasis should be laid on the recycling of plastics. The customers should also be forced to use recyclable plastic bags and reuse disposable bags.