On Friday, New Delhi, India, enacted a law banning single-use plastics from grass and tobacco packs to combat the pollution in landfills.
Announcing the ban, the government rejected the demands of food, beverage, and consumer goods companies to suspend the law to avoid disruption.
Plastic waste has become an essential source of pollution in India, the second-most populous country in the world.
Rapid economic growth has exacerbated the demand for goods that come with one-time plastic products, such as straws and waste.
But India, which uses about 14 million tons of plastic a year, does not have a systematic waste management system, leading to an increase in the garbage.
Roads across villages are littered with recycled plastic that clogs canals, rivers, and seas and kills animals.
India’s ban on using single-use plastic materials includes grass, cutlery, earbuds, packaging films, plastic balloon sticks, candy and ice cream, and packets of tobacco, among other products, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement.
PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Parle Agro of India, Dabur, and Amul had demanded that the straws be released from the ban.
For the benefit of consumers, the government has now released plastic bags but urged manufacturers and buyers to increase their size to encourage reuse.
In addition to food and beverage companies and consumer goods, plastic manufacturers complained about the ban, saying it did not give them enough time to prepare for the law.
Some experts believe that enforcing the ban could be difficult. The government has decided to establish control rooms to monitor any illegal use, sale, and distribution of used plastic products.
According to the United Nations, plastic waste is at the level of the world’s oceans, with an estimated 100 million tons dumped there. Scientists have discovered a massive amount of plastic in the intestines of mammals that live as deep as whales.