Editorial | A rhetoric of polythene ban

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Often in history, we have read news of “complete polythene ban” in Kashmir. But in reality very little happens. It seems as if the ban orders only intensify use of the poisonous material, which has seeped into our lives prominently. From vendors to shopkeepers, from clothes to food, you can’t ignore polythene bags. It is everywhere and it doesn’t seem to disturb us. During big fat weddings in Kashmir, plastic is used as if it strengthens the bond between the groom and bride – as if it is a ritual. There are boxes, glasses, bottles, bowls, bags, everything comes from plastic or polythene. Once the wedding is over, all this waste is thrown into Jhelum or somewhere on the road. Now with time, it has also become a status symbol – who has what kind of box and bag during the wedding. A general green polybag means you are cheap and perhaps doesn’t love your son or daughter enough. Is this what is important to us as a society? A poisonous plastic bag deciding how you are as a human being. The government doesn’t just need to order bans of use but it has to stop the very root of this. The production and distribution of plastic and polythene products, which are poison to our environment, must be stopped. With campaigns, online ads, newspaper ads, banners on roads, people don’t seem affected enough. If the government really wants this poisonous material to be out of our lives – out of the rivers, lakes and meadows, then it is time to ban the root cause, not the final product at the last minute. And people must show some social responsibility towards this and stop its use in daily life.


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