Management of plastic is more important than imposing ban. Plastic being the most light, waterproof, strong material used widely in daily routine, it is difficult to eliminate it completely, unless alternative to it is found.
The initial ban has been imposed only on single use plastic. This thin single use plastic is difficult to collect and dispose of properly. It can be collected only if people decide resolve not to throw it in open.
Director of National Environment Engineering Institute (NEERI), Nagpur Dr Atul Vaidya is of the opinion that plastic above 50 micron thickness can be recycled. Imposing ban on plastic totally may not be possible, looking at its utility and convenience for use. Concentration on its disposal is more important.
The single use plastic usually flows through nullahs and rivers to enter the sea. The chemicals used in moulding and colouring of plastic contaminate water and affect aquatic flora and fauna. With the passage of time it breaks into minute particles. Plastic of thickness above 50 microns can be recycled.
However, awareness about proper use of plastic and its disposal is most important. A large portion of the members of the society have followed the method of disposal of hazardous wastes. Generating awareness is a slow procedure. Some impact of efforts for years together is seen now. The efforts will have to be continued for many more years.
Only conducting raids on traders and imposing fines on users may not bring out the desired results. In rural areas, where machinery for effective disposal of wastes is not available, heaps of plastic bags can be seen on the outskirts or many places inside villages. The thinner plastic gets easily blown away by air. It also chokes sewage lines in urban areas. Those responsible for cleaning the sewage lines have observed that empty pouches of Gutkha, sanitary napkins and contraceptives are mainly responsible for blocking the lines. Only responsible behaviour can prevent this.
Maharashtra Government has banned on single use plastic from July 1, which is a welcome step. However, generating awareness become more important than imposing fines. The basic principle of any law is preventing offence and not inflicting punishment.