After imposing a blanket ban on the manufacture and sale of polythene bags in January, the Haryana government has now gone a step ahead and decided to prohibit the use of even plastic disposable cutlery.
Sources in the office of state environment minister Ajay Singh Yadav, who also holds the portfolio of finance, claimed the government is all set to formally impose a ban on all kinds of disposable plastic products and a notification will be issued in the next few days.
Pradeep Yadav, regional officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, said, "We are awaiting the notification as we cannot declare a ban or start fining traders without a formal communication. We will plan our strategy as soon as we get the orders."
The response from residents and shopkeepers, however, is mixed. While some feel it is a remarkable step as plastic is a major source of pollution and harms the environment, others argue for the lack of a better substitute.
Plastic glasses, cups, cutlery and other items are easily found in local shops and are widely used by roadside vendors and even restaurants.
Chander Bhan, who sells chaat at the Sector 14 market, said, "It is not possible to serve food in steel plates, as we do not have place to wash the utensils and is more unhygienic. The government order will hit our business."
Meanwhile, environmentalist Vivek Kamboj, who runs NGO Haryali, hailed the ban. "It is indeed a praiseworthy step. Earlier too, we used to eat in pattals (plates and bowls made of dried leaves). They are eco-friendly and will help reduce the plastic menace," he said.