Every bag that's washed down a drain during rainfall ends up in the sea
every bag that's flushed down a toilet (many mall bags are), ends up
in the sea - every bag that’s blown into a river will most likely
end up in the sea. Besides choking drains, plastics are highly toxics.
When burned they release cancer-causing gases. Lying in the garbage,
polythene bags also find their way in gut of cattle, asphyxiating the
animals. The cheap bags contain chemicals such as cadmium- or lead-based chemicals
that are harmful to health. They leach into vegetables, meat and food.
An estimated 15 lakh computers and 30 lakh mobile phones are
disposed of every year in India. “Computers, mobiles and other electronic items generate
hazardous e-waste like lead, brominated flame retardants and chromium
which can cause cancer,” There is another problem: India has more to
deal with than just the waste generated at home. The Environment
Protection Authority of Britain recently said 23,000
tonnes of e-waste was dumped in India, China and Pakistan.
Several countries have already banned their use and more will
doubtless follow. Several Indian states such as Maharastra, Dehli,
Punjab, Rajasthan, Himanchal Pradesh, Goa etc. banned their use.
Mumbai's storm water drainage choking with accumulated plastics waste,
making the floods unmanageable, is an old story. The Environment
Ministry has banned manufacture and use of plastics carry bags less
than 8 inches X 12 inches in size
20 micron in width. The ministry has also asked State Governments to
register all plastics manufacturing unit, so that these can be
regulated. However, the implementation of the order has been tardy,
evident from the large number of polythene bags strewn in every major
town and city.
The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water with its recent announcement banning plastic bags
completely by 2013. Jute is one of the strongest natural plant fibers which is durable and
re-usable. It is a 100 % natural material that consumes carbon dioxide and
releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Fabrics made of jute fibers are therefore
carbon dioxide neutral and are naturally decomposable.
The alternative to plastic bags are paper bags, jute bags and cloth
bags. Paper, Jute and Cloth are eco-friendly. Jute bags are most
suitable substitute then paper and cloth, because it is cheaper then
cloth and reusable. Though paper bags are cheaper then jute bags but
less durable. The West Bengal Government, which has decided to ban
plastic bags in Kolkata and other prominent towns and cities in the
State, intends to make use of jute bags mandatory through suitable
example set by Vietnam's 61-year old Le Loc
A former chemistry student in Vietnam, 61-year old Le Loc spent $85,700 (1.5
billion Dong) to invent a biodegradable bag all on his own. He had little
support. Le Loc said he couldn’t get a loan from the bank, because they didn’t
believe that the project would succeed. Over the last five years he devoted himself to finding a solution to Vietnam’s plastic bag problem.
He mortgaged his house. With the help of technology from the US, he has
developed a biodegradable packaging product that will biodegrade after 49-103
days if exposed to direct sunlight, natural bacteria or high humidity. His bags
are now available at different localities nationwide and in foreign markets. He
is the director of Phuc Le Gia Trade and Service Co. Ltd.. In May, the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Environment granted Loc’s bags the “Environment Green
Label” title. He has also passed quality assurance inspection by the Ministry of
Science and Technology.
for polyethylene bags
While the future for polyethylene bags may be death by regulation and taxation,
manufacturers in the industry have decided to participate in the debate without
shutting their doors and throwing their hands up.
In efforts to participate at the policy and legislative level, manufacturing
companies in the US have become part of the Progressive Bag Alliance (PBA) in
order to help shape environmentally-sound laws and policies. One of the
outgrowths of this Alliance is a loop-closing effort by Hilex, one of the
leaders in the manufacturing of polyethylene retail bags. The effort Bag-2-Bag
is a way to prevent plastic bags from making their way to landfills. Instead,
Hilex has built a $13 million recycling plant where they turn used bags
collected at grocery stores and retail locations into clean new bags.
In efforts to counter policies and legislation that have banned plastic bag use
to reduce pollution in cities manufacturers are increasing recycling efforts to revive the PRCBs industry.
Ireland imposed a tax on every plastic bag used at a retail location. The PBA
includes several PRCB manufacturers and was established by the American
Chemistry Council (ACC), which worked with non-profits, government and business
groups this past summer on a “Got Your Bags?” campaign in California. The
campaign was a public education effort to encourage shoppers to bring their
plastic bags back to stores for recycling. The PBA has announced that by 2015 they aim to include 40%
recycled content, including 25% post-consumer material in all plastic shopping
bags made by member companies. According to the ACC, the Full Circle Recycling
Initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emission by 463 million pounds, conserve
enough energy (mainly natural gas) to heat 200,000 homes and reduce waste by 300
million pounds every year.
on the use of natural fabrics
Fashion today being the trend towards mass luxury and second being the drive for eco-sustainable fashion.
Natural fabrics are bio-degradable and can be used to regenerate the earth on decay.They are also carbon neutral.
They release no more than the amount of CO2 absorbed when incinerated.
Where the production of 1 tonne of polypropylene used in packaging, containers and cordage emits more than 3 tonnes of Carbon dioxide (CO2) where as jute absorbs 2.4 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne produced.
Now, these are healthy choices due to their wicking properties unlike the synthetics materials used in
garment for weight reduction programmes. This also makes it imperative for designers to make knowledgeable choices. Although most Indian luxury design is based on the use of natural fabrics, the spread of the fashion phenomena here, is leading to the massive demand for synthetic materials such as polyesters at the cheaper end.
Again the advantage for natural fibres is that we can recycle the old with the new when it comes to creating manmade fabrics. That we can create eco-sustainable designs.
PMC to subsidise manufacturing of jute, paper bags
Following its decision on January 8, 2010 to ban plastic bags in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to give subsidy for manufacturing jute and paper bags. "We want to ensure that Pune is completely free of plastic bags. To support the ban we decided to subsidise manufacturing of jute and plastic bags.
The PMC will offer subsidies, especially to small saving groups, for manufacturing jute and paper bags, Bhosale said, adding, "All these years plastic had become a major problem and we have decided to get rid of it.
states on plastic bags ban
Various States have increased the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags to even higher limits of 40, 50, or
70 microns. These States/ UTs are: Goa (40 micron), Himachal Pradesh ( 70 micron; HP Cabinet decided to ban plastics in the entire State with effect from 15.08.2009), Maharashtra (50 micron), Meghalaya ( 40 micron), Punjab (30 micron), Chandigarh (30 micron),
West Bengal (40 micron ), Kerala (30 micron).
(a) The Government of Delhi issued a notification dated 21st November 2008 titled “ the Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag ( Manufacturing, Sale and Usage )and Garbage (Control) (Amendment ) Act, 2008” Section 11(b0 of this notification stipulates that no person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell plastic begs made of virgin of recycled, degradable or non –degradable plastic bags which are less than 40 microns in thickness. Another notification issued on 7th January 2009 under the powers delegated to Government of Delhi by the Central Government under Section -5 of the Environment (Protection ) Act, 1986, which prohibits the use, sale and storage off all kinds of plastic bags in Five Star and Four Star Hotels, Hospitals with 100 more beds except the use of plastic bags as pres cribbed under Bio-medical Waste (management and handling) Rules,
seats, all fruits and vegetable outlets selling different consumer products including fruits and vegetables.
(b) West Bengal Pollution Control Board has banned manufacture, sale and use of plastic carry bags in ecologically fragile areas viz the entire Sunderban areas, Hilly areas of Darjeeling distinct, Sub-division,
CRZ areas (Digha, Sagar, Bakkhali etc.), Forest areas and in different heritage and tourist site.
(c) Action has been initiated for public awareness (trainings, workshops) for plastic waste management such
as proper disposal of plastic bottles, banning of plastic carry bags, use of cloth/jute bags etc.
(d) Coloured Plastic carry bags have been banned in Himachal Pradesh. Use of plastic carry begs have been
banned in some districts in Mizoram /West Bengal
(e) Jammu and Kashmir has also banned polythene carry bags under Non Bio- Degradable Material
(Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007 with effect from
(f) Government of Himachal Pradesh has taken a cabinet decision for complete bad of plastics in Himachal
Pradesh under the HP Non-Biodegradable Garbage Control Act, 1995 effective from 15th August 2009.