Tamil Nadu bans use of plastics

Protests by trade union members to oppose plastic ban in TN

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Some plastic traders, on the other hand, have put up the shutters in protest, demanding more time to find sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to plastic.

The Tamil Nadu government recently announced a ban on the use of plastic items, including non-biodegradable carry bags, effective 1 January 2019. The move comes in the light of a pledge by TN government to gift a plastic-free state to the future generations. The ban includes curb on manufacture, sale, storage and usage of items such as plastic cups, water sachets, straws and carry bags. It would also cover all plastic items irrespective of their micron size.

However, polythene sachets used for packing milk, curd, oil and medical equipment will be exempted from the ban. This is not the first time that the state is banning plastics. It had done so earlier in an attempt to make the state plastic free by the late Jayalalitha.

Thousands of trade union members near Kalaivanar Arangam in Chepauk, Chennai decided to start a rally opposing the ban on plastics and some plastic products. The union alleged that the ban will affect thousands of entrepreneurs involved in small scale production of plastics in the state who already have difficulty in paying back their bank loans. The union also requested the government to postpone the decision until the Central Government takes a policy decision regarding plastic ban to save more than 10 thousand families involved in working in those plastic manufacturing industries and write off the bank loans of the small scale manufacturers.

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