Indian state of Uttar Pradesh implements plastics ban to counter rampant pollution

Indian state of Uttar Pradesh implements plastics ban to counter rampant pollution

Today, the Uttar Pradesh government implements a sweeping ban on plastic products, primarily focusing on the food industry. The state

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Photo: Reuters

Today, the Uttar Pradesh government implements a sweeping ban on plastic products, primarily focusing on the food industry. The state government of Maharashtra announced a similar ban three weeks ago on June 23.

The most populous Indian state with 204 million citizens, Uttar Pradesh suffers from major plastic pollution in its cities, like Kanpur and Agra, and in its waterways, like the Ganges River. Uttar Pradesh is also dealing with the worst air pollution in all of India—no city within the state complies with WHO recommendations for safe air quality.

This plastic ban seeks to mitigate such pollution, but it follows two other attempted plastic bans that were not enforced. With hundreds of tonnes of plastic used on a daily basis, enforcement of this new, sweeping ban remains nearly impossible.

Looking forward, the state’s major environmental problems threaten its economy, which centres around tourism. The pilgrimage site of Varanasi is drowning in pollutants in the Ganges, while air pollution is discolouring Agra’s famed Taj Mahal. To protect the state’s economy, more stringent environmental protections are needed, but today’s plastic ban will not have a significant impact.

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