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Days of using plastic bags numbered but citizens doubt if ban will work
The government of India is banning plastic bags, yet again. Whether this time it will yield any results or not is the real question that citizens are asking.

ANYONE VIOLATING the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, by using, manufacturing and storing plastic bags will face the music in New Delhi from Friday as a blanket ban has been announced on the same. This time the government has said that people using, manufacturing or storing these bags would be heavily penalized and also jailed. Violators will face 5 years of prison time as well as fined upto 1 lakh rupees will be charged.

A practice,which is quite old now, would be hard to eradicate. The government on previous occasions has tried to dissuade people from using these bags by making cloth bags mandatory in departmental stores but in other places, the scenario is far from different. This time, however, the government is pursuing the matter quite seriously and they want to eradicate these bags from being used. They are starting with plastic carry bags, pouches, invitation wrapped in plastic covers. The government will not target food wrapped in plastic covers yet.

When this citizen journalist asked a few persons about the move, if it will help stop the use of plastic bags, we got a number of interesting responses. Sumedha Goswami, a resident of Hyderabad, felt, “Why penalize the users of plastic bags. What good can come out of it until and unless the manufacturers stop making those bags?” The government have asked the manufacturers involved in making plastic bags to dismantle their manufacturing facilities by the deadline.

Kaustav Rakshit, a marketing student said that the plastic bag is more of a rural consumer product and until and unless they understand the reason behind the ban, any such ban will not work in the long run. He added, “It is a good effort but until and unless people understand the harm of using these bags, full eradication is not possible. Thus it is important that the government make people understand the fact that plastic is not bio-degradable and harms the environment.”

Highlighting the fact that such measures have been taken previously but has borne no fruits, Ashim Sunam, a resident of New Delhi, also joked about the five-year jail time by saying, “If thats the case, India needs to build many jails to accommodate Indians, who have the habit of violating government rules.” Thus, the people in Delhi have little faith in the blanket ban and time will only tell as to whether the life of plastic is numbered or not.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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