Will Coronavirus Lockdown Delay India’s Commitment To Phase Out Single-use Plastic By 2022?

Will Coronavirus Lockdown Delay India’s Commitment To Phase Out Single-use Plastic By 2022?

While humans are staying indoors due to coronavirus induced lockdown, nature is thriving, healing and highlighting the damage being done to the environment, one of them being plastic pollution
Coronavirus Outbreak, Plastic Waste
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Will Coronavirus Lockdown Delay India’s Commitment To Phase Out Single-use Plastic By 2022?India generates 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

New Delhi: Though the coronavirus induced lockdown has impacted everyone’s lives and brought it to a standstill, there’s a flip side to it as well – cleaner air and water bodies. With the nature thriving and healing while humans are staying indoors to check the spread of the COVID-19, the damage being done to the environment is clear more than ever. One of the most visible damages done to the environment in the last few years is plastic pollution. According to a 2019 study by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day.

India has committed to phase out the use of single-use plastic by 2022 but in the time of coronavirus pandemic, the use of plastic products in the form of gloves, face shields, packaging and others has increased. Also, given the impact of coronavirus lockdown on the economy, it looks like there is a new challenge at hand. In between all this, how should India address its plastic waste problem? NDTV speaks to experts to understand the problem of plastic and how to solve it.

Also Read: Delhi Gets Its First Garbage Café Where Plastic Waste Can Be Exchanged For Meals

Solving The Problem Of Plastic Waste

In 2015, 35-year-old young lawyer from Mumbai along with his 84-year-old neighbour late Harbansh Mathur, started the world’s biggest clean-up project at Versova beach. The duo along with volunteers joining the clean-up every week changed the face of the beach. The results were evident with turtles coming back to the beach and enjoying the spic and span surroundings. Talking about the clean-up project and what is required, Afroz Shah said that action speaks louder than words and added,

It’s not only one man’s effort. It’s about community who rises up to save the oceans, beaches, forests, rivers, and lakes. What we saw at Versova beach was people using their hands and telling that it can be done. People think beach clean-up is about cleaning beaches but it’s not only that. It’s about changing the mind set and habits. We cannot have a world where we keep on producing garbage and then say come on, someone pick it up. That needs to be understood at a pre litter stage, litter stage and post litter stage. Once each one gets it, the world will change.

Also Read: Heroes Of Swachh India: Meet Afroz Shah, The Man Who Turned The Tide Against Dirty Beaches With His Cleanup At Versova

Further talking about the behavioural change such clean-up projects have brought among volunteers, Afroz shared an anecdote from one of the clean-ups and said,

8-year-old girl saw plastic wrapper, biscuit wrapper thrown and said I’m making efforts to not buy biscuits wrapped in plastic packaging. I’m making an effort to go to the local bakery and buy biscuits. That’s the effort we are looking. Every young person looks at the packaging and talks about making a change.

Actor Dia Mirza who has been vocal about plastic pollution and has even given up single-use plastic items like sanitary pads, water bottle, toothbrush, talked about solving the problem of plastic waste and said,

While we will continue to champion the need to reduce our plastic consumption, it’s equally necessary for us to acknowledge that unless people, government, and industries do not work together to solve the problem, we will not be able to solve it. It takes behavioural change from people, how civic bodies are managing our waste and how are industries being responsible of the waste that they are introducing into the world.

As far as industries are concerned, a law called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under which producers have been given a responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. A law was enforced in 2016 but according to the environmentalist Afroz Shah, nothing has been done on it apart from some paper work being initiated left, right and center.

Also Read: Amazon, Flipkart Need To Collect Plastic Packaging Waste Generated By Them: Central Pollution Control Board

Stressing on civic society taking the lead and putting pressure on industries, Dia Mirza said,

We have to continue to question what is becoming of our waste, why such an excess of waste is being introduced, why is there such excessive packaging in everything. There are things which do not require a certain amount of packaging but are packed excessively. Now a lot of businesses are going to happen online. How are they going to become responsible for their packaging? So that’s one area. Yes, EPR also needs to be implemented and companies need to rework their packaging and designing.

Having said that, Dia believes that there has been a significant shift in the way people have started to perceive their patterns of consumption.

Also Read: #IWillWearOutPlastic: This New Fashion Collection Is All About ‘Say No To Plastic’

The Impact Of Coronavirus Lockdown And Phasing Out Single-use Plastic

India is making efforts to come out of the lockdown in a staggered manner and at the same time revive economy. But the commitment to phase out single-use plastic may lead to job loss. Talking about the same, Dr Ashok Khosla, Chairman Development Alternative, said,

If you want to create jobs, plastic is not a way to do it. We need to focus on creating jobs based on living with nature.

Bharati Chaturvedi, Director at Chintan, a Delhi based NGO believes that the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and its impact on the economy is not an obstacle rather an opportunity to phase out plastic. Elaborating on her opinion, Ms Chaturvedi said,

There has been a huge migration back to rural India. We can actually use the skills of those who have gone back from the cities to create alternatives to plastic. We do really have to invest money for a long time, to create livelihoods there. Secondly, there are plastics that can be recycled and after COVID-19, there is a huge opportunity to recycle if we put the taxation correctly. For example, a lot of recycling plants are scared to open up, especially small Tones. We need to push those incentives into them so that they can open up. Otherwise all the plastic will be thrown away and enter the ecosystem. Thirdly, replacing and promoting through economic measures is a great way to change consumption.

Also Read: Drowning In Plastic: Visualising The World’s Addiction To Plastic Bottles

Further talking about phasing out of the use of single-use plastic, Dr Ashok stressed on getting away with unnecessary fancy packaging on which we have become far too dependent. Calling to change the concept of packaging, Dr Ashok said,

Plastic can be made from bio sources so the material which is being used for packaging needs to be changed. Use natural material to create packaging and make it in such a way that it becomes biodegradable.

Sharing more ways to phase out plastic, Dr Ashok suggested changing the cost of plastic by taxing it and added,

Figure out the ways in which the cost of making single-use plastic is expensive. The real costs the cost to health, environment, and natural resources. If you don’t include all these costs than plastic is cheap and everybody will buy it. We should be adding taxes to things that are causing damage to the environment, human health, and living system.

Also Read: Around The World: Filipinos Turn Volcano’s Ash, Plastic Trash Into Bricks

Is Plastic Ban A Solution?

In 2018, Maharashtra had imposed a ban on the use of single-use plastic but almost two years down the line, it looks like ban was another effort that went wasted. Sharing her opinion on the impact of a plastic ban in Maharashtra, Dia Mirza said,

When the ban was implemented, we saw a big difference, but very quickly we saw single-use plastic coming right back especially before the elections and nobody could do anything about it. It’s a big indicator that there are lobbies and we will need to do much better than we have done so far to overcome this challenge.

Dia tells that in the initial stage of the ban, it did feel it can bring a difference but now plastic bags are back and with the current pandemic, other things like gloves, masks are being used on a large scale.

Echoing the same, Ms Chaturvedi said,

Maharashtra proves that bans are not the way forward for a country like India because we have weak regulation and enforcement system. Anything that depends on a weak system to run it will fail. Therefore, let’s reduce our consumption by finding alternatives. Waste pickers and kabaddiwala have to be a part of the system. We have to look at a far more innovative approach. You cannot ban things and say it failed because people don’t listen.

Also Read: Thailand Kicks Off 2020 By Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags, Shoppers Come Up With Innovative Alternatives

World

6,03,21,440Cases
2,02,30,230Active
3,86,71,119Recovered
14,20,091Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 191 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 6,03,21,440 and 14,20,091 have died; 2,02,30,230 are active cases and 3,86,71,119 have recovered as on November 26, 2020 at 3:37 am.

India

92,66,705 44489Cases
4,52,344 7598Active
86,79,138 36367Recovered
1,35,223 524Deaths
In India, there are 92,66,705 confirmed cases including 1,35,223 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,52,344 and 86,79,138 have recovered as on November 26, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

17,95,959 6,159

85,488 1,250

16,63,723 4,844

46,748 65

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

8,78,055 1,630

24,909 278

8,41,432 1,333

11,714 19

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

8,64,674 831

12,673 351

8,45,039 1,176

6,962 6

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

7,74,710 1,534

11,520 355

7,51,535 1,873

11,655 16

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

5,78,363 6,491

65,234 695

5,11,008 5,770

2,121 26

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

5,45,787 5,246

38,287 214

4,98,780 5,361

8,720 99

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

5,33,355 2,305

24,876 948

5,00,835 1,328

7,644 29

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

4,66,991 3,528

24,752 128

4,34,067 3,605

8,172 51

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

3,16,001 730

6,212 14

3,08,102 728

1,687 16

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,66,904 862

10,784 102

2,54,676 961

1,444 3

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

2,53,767 3,285

26,320 1,123

2,25,229 2,144

2,218 18

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,31,539 694

5,225 328

2,25,077 362

1,237 4

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

2,29,203 1,877

24,676 1,861

2,01,744

2,783 16

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

2,24,489 2,197

20,948 183

2,01,250 1,972

2,291 42

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,12,021 182

3,277 63

2,07,766 117

978 2

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

2,01,949 1,540

14,287 243

1,83,756 1,283

3,906 14

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

1,98,284 1,773

13,742 763

1,81,345 996

3,197 14

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,48,435 770

7,129 295

1,36,622 444

4,684 31

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

1,08,158 237

2,160 82

1,05,040 316

958 3

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

1,07,819 489

5,264 93

1,00,892 570

1,663 12

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

72,642 482

4,658 20

66,799 450

1,185 12

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

47,193 125

1,281 60

45,229 61

683 4

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

36,820 51

540 51

35,671

609

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

36,566 837

7,875 725

28,106 99

585 13

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

32,578 50

767 23

31,441 73

370

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

24,133 193

3,248 73

20,640 115

245 5

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

16,925 77

1,127 1

15,532 77

266 1

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

16,174 30

968 36

15,157 66

49

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

11,513 59

915 22

10,488 37

110

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

10,991 60

1,467 6

9,463 66

61

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

8,119 91

886 32

7,125 56

108 3

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

4,819 42

236 2

4,481 44

102

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,677 10

137 5

4,479 15

61

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

3,765 20

441 1

3,319 21

5

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,327 2

35 2

3,290 4

2

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0 0

0

0

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