India Bans All Single-Use Disposable Plastic In Its Capital City

The ban affects cutlery, bags, and cups, among other items.

A law passed by India's National Green Tribunal banning all single-use plastic items in Delhi's National Capital Territory (NCT), which includes the capital city of New Delhi, went into effect Jan. 1 with the hopes of cutting back on the country's contribution to pollution worldwide.

The Times of India reports that "India is among the top four biggest plastic polluters in the world, responsible for around 60 percent of the 8.8 million tons of plastic that is dumped into the world's oceans every year."

The Independent further notes that the ban came after reports that sites that were supposed to be used as waste-to-energy facilities were being used to burn huge amounts of plastic waste, thus contributing substantial amounts of air pollution to the environment.

The ban affects plastic cups, bottles, cutlery, and bags. 

Columbia University's Earth Institute reports that of the approximately 33.6 million tons of plastic discarded in the United States every year, only 6.5 percent is recycled with another 7.7 percent being used in waste-to-energy plants.

The institute further notes that plastics can take up to 1000 years to decompose.

India's solution may very well be one for every country to begin considering.

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Cover photo: Sanjay Borra / Shutterstock.

(H/T: The Independent)

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