New rules to make Tamil Nadu plastic free
As we know, the Government of India is progressively taking various legal initiatives to stop plastic pollution by making some provisions and amendments in the Environment (Protection) Act 1988. With reference to this act, Government of Tamil Nadu has taken a step forward to ban the usage of some kind of plastic items (Environment and Forests Department, T.N. G.O. No: 84, dated 25/06/2018).
As per the government order cited above, the Tamil Nadu Government has banned the usage of one-time use and throwaway plastics from 1st January 2019. This excellent legislation is designed to protect Tamil Nadu from plastic pollution.
Rules which ban the production, storage, supply, transport, sale and distribution of one-time use plastics are extremely effective. They are successful because they target all sections of society– manufacturer, supplier, shopkeeper and customer. This progressive initiative taken by the State of Tamil Nadu leads by example for the rest of the nation.
Please find below some key aspects of the new rules along with science-based facts why these items have been banned in Tamil Nadu.
· Globally we use 2 million plastic bags each minute.
· 97% of plastic bags do not get recycled.
· Animals eat plastic bags by accident as they contain food. A cow was found with over 70 kilos of plastic in its stomach.
· Dirty plastics (like a used plate) are difficult to recycle.
· Most one-time use plates are made from Polystyrene (resin code # 6) which is harmful to your health.
· Plates will be used for just 20 minutes but stay in the environment for over a 1,000 years.
· Water pouches are often littered, increasing plastic pollution.
· The blue print (ink) on the clear plastic pouch decreases the recycling value.
· Once a water pouch is used, it is difficult to recycle as it contains leftover water and gets covered in dirt.
· Plastic straws are too lightweight and small to be recycled.
· Straws are one of the top 10 items which are found in the plastic pollution in oceans.
· 90% of seabirds have ingested plastics such as straws.
· Plastic sheets used on top of plates get dirty and cannot be recycled.
· More chemicals leak from plastic into food when it is hot, spicy or oily.
· Animals such as cows, goats, and dogs eat plastic by accident because it smells like food.
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