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As India Bans Disposable Plastic, Tamil Nadu Offers Lessons

But now Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has banned some of those ubiquitous items, including disposable cups, plates, cutlery, straws and ear swabs. Single-use bags are forbidden, but thicker, reusable ones are allowed. The ban does not include soda bottles and plastic packaging for chips and other snacks. India follows places like Bangladesh, the European Union and China in a large-scale effort to reduce plastic waste. But its plan is among the most ambitious, experts said, as it targets t he entire supply chain, from the making to the use of disposable plastics. What remains to be seen is how committed the authorities will be to enforcing the new law. “A blanket ban is very difficult to implement unless local governments take strict actions against the violators and build partnership with people,” said Ravi Agarwal, who heads Toxics Link, an advocacy group that focuses on waste management. “Otherwise we will end up with some sporadic fines here and there, and some newspaper reports.”

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