Plastic policy ramps up in India
On Saturday, Maharashtra’s ban on single-use plastic items – including food containers, shopping bags, forks, knives, and straws – came into effect on Saturday.
Maharashtra marks the 25th out of 29 states in India to adopt the plastic policy. However, the city may have a larger effect than the rest, as it is India’s second most populated city and plans to enforce the rules strictly. The other cities, on the other hand, have treated the policy fairly loosely since their implementation.
McDonald’s was one of many companies to be hit with a fine after the weekend. Although the fast-food chain has switched to wooden cups, forks, knives, and spoons, as well as straws made of cornstarch, the company failed to remove their plastic lids on delivery drinks. Starbucks did not comment on its fine or the extent of it, but the company has been known to use paper bags and wooden cutlery, similar to McDonald’s.
Initial fines are just 5,000 rupees ($73) and 25,000 rupees ($376) after that, which is pocket change for major corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks. However, smaller companies will definitely hurt if they are hit with a fine. On Sunday alone, authorities in Mumbai gathered 400,000 rupees ($5,900) in fines from tens of businesses.
Additionally, the ban will hurt plastic manufacturers. Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India secretary Neemit Punamiya states that plastic manufacturers could lose over $2 billion and 300,000 jobs because of the ban.
However, advocates for the ban will argue that the price of keeping the ocean and Earth clean and pure is invaluable. As the amount of plastic in the ocean increases to dangerous rates, many companies are adopting plastic-free policies to show their support for sustainability.
Featured image via Pixabay/Alexas_Fotos