It may not be perhaps wrong to say that the new initiative taken by the state government to fight rampant use of plastic is nothing more than ‘Old Wine in New Bottle’, as in the absence of strong enforcement agency, such schemes are ‘useless’.
In yet another move to defeat the usage of plastic in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir government had come up with a new plan to encourage use of hand-made folders and other stationery items. However, the enforcement and implementation of this new policy will remain a challenge for the government, since the previous such schemes have faced failure.
The ministry of new and renewable energy and khadi & village industries commission has strongly advised to do away with plastic folders, stating that plastic is a non-biodegradable substance and its improper disposal causes many problems. Plastics are synthetic substances produced by chemical reactions. Almost all plastics are made from petroleum. The plastic folders, which are conventionally used for meetings and workshops, can well replaced by hand-made paper folders which are more durable and aesthetic in look.
The hand-made paper has been acclaimed as “eco-friendly” for its non-toxic, biodegradable properties since it does not use wood pulp as raw material. The khadi and village propagates usage of hand-made paper to safeguard the ecological balance. The monomers of petrochemical plastics are inorganic materials and are not biodegradable. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) patronize rural traditional village industries and hand-made paper is one of the prime village industries under the purview of KVIC.
“Apart from posing serious health hazards improper disposal of plastic wastes is clogging the drains and resulting in the inundation of low-lying areas after rain. To protect the environment and public health the government of Jammu and Kashmir has called for a complete ban on the use of plastic bags,” said government official.
Talking to Newspoint, Director Pollution Control Board, Shouqat Choudhary said that plastics are not only responsible for polluting the environment there are other factors also which pollutes the environment.
“We are working to completely ban plastic in the state and this scheme is entailed to do it legally,” he said and added that though government has taken a positive step to curb with the pollution, but still proper implementation is needed.
“The hand-made paper has been acclaimed as eco-friendly for its non-toxic and biodegradable properties, therefore its usage must be encouraged in the society and the people from all walks of life may ensure its popularity at shops,” Choudhary said and added a change in the mindset among the people is essential for the successful implementation of the ban on usage of plastic.