With a state-wide plastic ban in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry is taking similar steps to ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products in the Union Territory from March 1, 2019. This was revealed by Chief Minister – V Narayanasamy who also said that there would be a massive awareness drive among the merchants and the public on the necessity of the ban. “We want to gift a plastic-free Puducherry to the future generation and curb the plastic in the larger interest of the environment,” he commented.
New market opportunities
Plastic ban has created new market opportunities for many vendors and companies. The ban on non-biodegradable bags has opened a market for canvas/cotton, denim and jute bags. Companies like Regeno are making biodegradable or compostable bags made from the wastes of maize, vegetables and paper. In Tamil Nadu, some tender coconut vendors have found innovative replacements to environment-threatening plastic straws. These include papaya stalks and straws made out from bamboo and wheat. Other options include steel, paper and copper straws too. Vadodara-based company Trishula sells edible spoons in eight unique flavours including beetroot, spinach, chocolate, masala, black pepper, mint, ajwain (carom seeds), and plain. The spoons are made by blending different flours, Indian natural spices, and flavours. They have a shelf life of six months from the date of manufacture and range from ₹3 to ₹6, depending on quantity and flavour.