Single-use plastic ban: Reality check on awareness in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: With the ban on single-use plastics coming into force in Odisha from today on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, OTV went on the ground to get a grasp of reality and understand whether the ban is being strictly implemented and gauge the awareness levels among people.

The reality check revealed that people are not only aware of the hazardous effects of plastic on the environment, but also support the decision of the State government. Though vendors were also seen avoiding use of plastics, some complained of a few customers getting rude when denied plastic bags. Besides, the main concern that most of the people expressed is about the lack of a viable alternative.

“We support plastic ban but the government should provide us with an alternative first. We are ready to pay for the environment-friendly bags,” said a customer.

If the supply of plastic bags can be stopped, the ban will be effective and the government should first shut down all those plastic bag manufacturing units, said a vendor while stating that business has been adversely affected due to the ban.

“We have to find out an alternative and people’s awareness is also needed so that they will come out of home with bags,” said Sudhakar Panda, secretary of State Traders’ Association.

Moreover, Odisha School Mass Education Department is also taking measures to create awareness at the school level. “We are making drinking water available at schools. Besides, we are taking steps to create awareness among students to avoid plastic water bottles,” said School and Mass Education Minister, Samir Das.

“We are planning to have a meeting with parents and students so that they will avoid bringing water or food in plastic bottles and containers,” said Principal of Capital High School, Sonamika Ray.