'Gift to planet': Norway, Denmark praise PM Modi's ban on single-use plastic
Single-use plastic items are those that are discarded after being used only once and do not go through the recycling process.
Norway and Denmark on Friday welcomed prime minister Narendra Modi's decision to ban single-use plastic (SUP) items in India. Norway's charge d'affaires, Martine Aamdal Bottheim, said the ban would reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans - and endangers the environment and marine animals - and thanked Modi for taking this step.
"...it will also reduce the amount of plastic that needs to be collected and recycled (from) the sea and (plastic that) comes into the that we breathe," Bottheim told news agency ANI.
Bottheim stressed that this problem - environmental pollution - concerns the whole world.
"We share the oceans and we share the air... so this is a global problem," she said, adding that this is why it is important to ensure India succeeds in its effort to ban SUP.
Freddy Svane, Denmark's ambassador to India, also hailed the ban. "India is moving fast. And what India contributes by banning single-use plastic is a great gift to this planet. So, I congratulate India,” Svane told ANI.
Single-use plastic items are those that are discarded after being used only once and do not go through a recycling process.
These include earbuds with plastic sticks, plates and cups, plastic flags and sticks for balloons, polystyrene (thermocol) and hundreds of other items.
The manufacturing, import, stocking, distribution and sale of these items are also prohibited under the new ban and the thickness of plastic carry-bags will have to be increased from 75 microns to 120 microns from December 31.
As the ban was imposed, several manufacturers have protested, saying they are not yet prepared to implement the same due to a lack of alternatives.
On Tuesday, however, union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said the government had given enough time to the industry and the public.
Any violation of the ban will invite punitive actions, including a fine or a jail term or both, as detailed under Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act (EPA) and under the bylaws of respective municipal corporations.
(With ANI inputs)