In connection with the upcoming ban on single use plastic products placed by the Government of Tamil Nadu, The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore organized an awareness Program on “Ban on Use of Plastics”. Dr. B. Vijayalalithambigai, M. B. B. S, Designated Officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety & Drug Administration Department, Coimbatore addressed the gathering. This program served as a platform for the people from the industry to raise their questions/grievances and to interact with the Chief Guest about Plastic ban.
Vijayalalithambigai began her address by saying that we have become accustomed to plastic products in our daily life and it is not easy to withdraw its use on a single day. But this plastic is a plague for the posterity and if we prolong it, it will pose a serious problem.
She conveyed that plastic products don’t just affect the environment alone but every individual directly/indirectly. She said that when the government places a rule, we as responsible citizens must follow. She clarified that single use Plastics like carry bags irrespective of the micron size, sheets used as table wraps, plates, tea cups, spoons, straws, flags, water pouches etc are banned while all plastic items that have not come under this ban by the pollution control board are permissible and certain items like milk packet and oil packets are exempted. During the event, she displayed the alternatives to plastic like Bamboo boxes, Areca leaf containers, Starch based carry bags, cloth bags, wooden spoons and paper bags.
She acknowledged that manufacturers will find it hard and expensive to adapt to the alternatives to plastic but the change must begin from us for a better future. She also said when every manufacturer adapts to the alternatives, the price will come down and market will become flexible in time. Post her address, the session was opened for questioning. Traders and manufacturers of plastic raised the question that why has not adequate major announcements been made, what will the government do to the single-use plastics manufactured by big-time corporates and one of the participant asked whether the government would provide any aid to the plastic manufacturers if they shift to these alternative.
Vijayalalithambigai said that the all these have been taken to the government’s ears and the concerned parties have been notified as well. She requested the traders to appeal to the government and address their issues due to the fact that this is the decision of pollution control board and not the Food Safety & Drug Administration Dept.
She also highlighted that enough awareness is being given to the school children. A nodal teacher will be trained and he/she will disseminate it to the young masses.
“We need to endure this hardship for our children. I tell this as an individual not as an officer, sacrifice and endure this for your children and for a better world”.