Polythene-free environment looks a long dream keeping the commerce involved. Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for cutting down the usage of polythene and switching over to single-use polythene comes out of concern over the degrading material and its impact of environment and animal health. The campaign to desist use of the environmental hazardous material has been there for some time in many countries. But in reality there has been no concerted effort in the face of commercial and economic lobby behind against the trade. This is the reality and Jammu is no exception. There have been few attempts to regenerate packing process by using agriculture produce like banana leafs, Sal leaves and Banyan tree leaves. These leaves are used in making plates, containers by stitching six to eight leaves with tiny wooden sticks. Such material is prevalent in some parts of rural India but whether the urban Indian be proud to carry such packing with them in public. Jute bags are in vogue but can it be made available as cheaper alternative, is the larger question one must be facing today especially when the industry confined to west Bengal. Single-use plastics are often referred to as disposal plastics (read that as products that are meant to withstand a single-use like a sachet). These are used for packaging and include items intended for use only once. The European Union, for instance, describes ‘single-use plastics’ as plastics as products made of plastic such as cotton-bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, sticks for balloons, cups, food, beverage containers made of polystyrene and products made of oxo-degradable plastic, etc. Industry gives a different definition. India’s plastic industry recorded an annual revenue worth Rs 3.5-lakh crore in FY19. This was spread across 50,000 processing units, the bulk of these being small and medium enterprises. It is one of the fastest-growing industries in India as it sees its fortunes linked to the growth of every other industry. Seeing the widespread usage of the non-bio degradable commodity and the economics behind, can we be able to see a plastic-free environmentally safe world.
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