India to Ban Single-Use Plastics

The Indian government just announced that it will ban disposable and single-use plastics. Taking effect on October 2nd, the ban outlaws plastic straws, packaging, bags, cups, and foodware. While several states like Maharashtra passed their own bans, this new law affects the entire country.

Plastic waste is a national crisis in India, but this ban goes a long way to solve it. As opponents of single-use plastic, OkStraw Paper Straws is happy to see India take action. OkStraw knows that drastic times call for drastic measures, and with this new ban, India has a greener future on its horizon.  

Plastic waste hurts animals like cows, which live in populated areas.

India's Single-Use Plastic Problem

India is a young, rapidly developing nation of 1.3 billion people, but it suffers from pollution. As a result, cities like Gurudam are among the world’s most polluted, and plastic waste is no better. Plastic waste kills India’s animals, destroys natural habitats, and threatens people’s health. Furthermore, microplastics are a major threat to India’s ecosystem, because they pollute the water, air and soil. 

People in India recycle a large portion of plastic, but it’s not enough to reduce plastic waste. In fact, estimates say that by 2022, the average Indian person will use nearly 50 pounds of plastic every year. That means no matter how much plastic India recycles, there will still be more polluting the environment. India needs extreme measures to solve this crisis, and we at OkStraw think a single-use plastics ban might be it. 

Modi's Campaign Against Plastic

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made fighting plastic waste and pollution a national issue. On August 15th, Modi asked Indians to reject single-use plastics, and plans to phase them out entirely by 2022. With his campaign, Modi wants to create a plastic-free legacy for 1.3 billion people. 

 

Banning single-use plastics nationwide won’t be easy, however, according to New Delhi-based columnist Archana Jyoti. Jyoti explains that India needs viable alternatives to replace single-use plastics, and people need to abide by the law. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we understand this concern, but Indians need not fear, because sustainable solutions are already here. 

Prime Minister Modi vows to end plastic waste in India.

Solutions for a Plastic-Free India

Thanks to growing opposition to single-use plastic waste, biodegradable solutions are hitting the market. In this new market, Indian entrepreneurs are introducing natural, renewable solutions to single-use plasticsWe at OkStraw Paper Straws eagerly await to see new solutions to single-use plastics from India’s new entrepreneurs. 

OkStraw Paper Straws is no stranger to the struggle to create true plastic alternatives. We know the sleepless nights and the trial and error, because we’ve been there. In the end, we created paper straws for any drink, from boba tea to slushies. So while India’s single-use plastic ban shuts one door, it opens far more new doors for entrepreneurs. With each plastics ban, the market for compostable goods keeps growing. And now with 1.3 billion more people, the market just got a whole lot bigger!

Delaware the Newest State to Pass Plastic Bag Ban

We at OkStraw are excited to announce that Delaware is the newest state to pass a plastic bag ban. Governor John Carney signed House Bill 130 into law on July 29th, which takes effect on January 1st, 2021. Governor Carney also signed in Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 5. SB5 will increase fines for illegal dumping, and establish a Litter Investigation and Enforcement Fund. 

Delaware’s plastic bag ban is the result of Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free, and anti-pollution activists like Dee Durham. Durham is the co-founder of Plastic Free Delaware, and began her fight for a plastic bag ban over a decade ago. OkStraw Paper Straws would like to congratulate Delaware on its fight against plastic waste.

Plastic bags are the fourth most commonly found form of litter around the world

Plastic straws and plastic bags are extremely harmful to marine animals.

According to Durham, less than 10 percent of single-use plastic bags are recycled. The  rest end up in the landfill, on roads, or in waters. According to State Senator Stephanie Hansen, plastic bags are the fourth most commonly found form of litter around the world. Unlike paper bags and paper straws, plastic bags and plastic straws never go away. Once they enter the environment, they are extremely difficult or even impossible to remove. Delaware’s plastic bag ban is a great first step to mitigate this environmental disaster.

Activist Dee Dunham is exploring a plastic straw ban as the next step in her fight against plastic waste. As plastic straw ban and plastic bag bans often go hand-in-hand, this is a natural step to take. Switching from plastic straws to paper straws and bags is one of the easiest ways to lower plastic waste. With high quality paper straw offerings from companies like OkStraw, it’s even easier.

Many Delawareans are already making the switch before the plastic bag ban

On January 1st of 2021, Delawareans will join the other 55 percent of the world’s population, who live under a plastic bag ban. Many Delawareans are already making the switch before the plastic bag ban, going paper or reusable. Citizen participation shows promise for more changes. Delaware could be one step closer to moving away from plastic straws, and switching to more sustainable paper straws.

When the plastic bag ban goes into law, Delaware will join states like New York, Hawaii and California. If Delaware’s fight against plastic waste succeeds, the state could be the first to have a full plastic straw ban. For now, other states have only banned restaurants from handing out straws, unless requested. A full plastic straw ban could make Delaware a small state with a big impact on the Midatlantic region, and the rest of America. Should this happen, the future for the paper straw in its birth region looks bright.

Plastic Bottle Cap Ban – California’s Plastic Free Future

California is considering a ban on the detachable plastic bottle cap – which could set a new bottling production standard for the rest of the nation. California also is reviewing how plastic straws are utilized by bars and restaurants. The plastic bottle cap legislation is aimed to lessen litter and encourage caps get recycled.  The law tentatively forces beverage businesses in California — the sixth-largest economy in the globe — to switch to caps tethered to bottles, much like on a canteen. Some bottled water companies such as Crystal Geyser have gotten ahead of the legislation, while Nestle boasts the eco-friendly solution on sports caps for some of its Arrowhead bottled water. Plastic bottle caps are the third-most common item of plastic that is found in beach cleanups by volunteers. But plastic bottle caps are just the start.

At the same time, California also is looking to impose limits on restaurants handing out plastic straws.  The legislation will require customers to specifically request plastic straws, rather than being given the straws by default. Violations of the law would result in criminal penalties, including potential jail time and big financial fines, but they have since been removed from the measure. To be clear, Assembly Bill 1884 wouldn’t ban plastic straws, but some local jurisdictions in the state have done so and require restaurants to use paper straws. Restaurants may actually save money with the bill, since restaurants will now save costs on passing out straws by default to every client that comes to a bar or restaurant.

This plastic bottle cap ban goes beyond the plastic bottle cap, it is a cultural shift seen around coastal states. Also, the city of Seattle has a ban on plastic straws and utensils from all restaurants that goes into effect in July. Several beach communities in Florida also have passed plastic straw bans.  More news about this culture shift is cataloged here at OKSTRAW™