Reality check on the poly ban ahead of the single-use plastic ban

Madhya Pradesh banned plastic carry bags since 2017 . Up to 19 items are classified as single-use plastic products .

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh faces a threat from the introduction of single-use plastic products on July 1.In almost every retail store in the state capital and other cities, the usage of plastic and polythene bags is rampant.While the state's plastic carry bags fewer than 100 microns have been banned since 2017, up to 19 items are classified as single-use plastic products.Retailers argue that instead of punishing small and road-side vendors, the government should shut down the facilities producing the illegal polythene bags and other plastic products.

According to traders, banned polythene bags reach Bhopal and other towns in MP from Gujarat via Indore.Each month, Tons of polythene bags are made in the state of the surrounding state by trains and buses.It goes to the middlemen and wholesalers who stock it in rented warehouses and supply it to the end-vendors and shops.All units manufacturing 19 prohibited single-use plastic products have been closed, according to Brijesh Sharma, the MP Pollution Control Board's regional officer in Bhopal.

All stockists were notified so they could stop stocking.Information campaigns are also ongoing.Sanjay Valecha, president of the New Market Traders Association, said that targeting small businesses and shopkeepers is pointless.If the government is serious about excluding the trade, it should start stopping it in the first place.

We would protest if the government targeted manufacturers rather than putting pressure on the manufacturing firms.According to Shashank Jain, the joint secretary of the New Market Traders Association, 1,200 shops in the market are using at least 100 polythene bags a day.Small businesses are fined and confiscated by the government.It does not support the cause of the problem but rather raises the volume of such items, he said.

Officials from the PCB argued that the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) should take steps to enforce the ban.earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic balloons sticks, plastic flags, candy sticks, thermocol decorative materials, plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straws, plastic trays, and cigarette wrappers are among the prohibited items.Since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued orders, a MP banned plastic carry bags in 2017.However, nothing has changed over the years.

Government officials, on the other hand, blame Covid for the inability to enforce the ban.The drive is now going on.According to the official figures, 11,779 raids seized 4,476 kg polythene and single-use plastic between January and May this year, with a fine of Rs 12,79,971.Small shops point out that the only thing that changed after the strike was their daily income, not the ban's sales.