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'Cost of alternatives will come down as cheaper plastic items go out of circulation'
New Delhi, July 1 - As the ban on identified single use plastic (SUP) items kicked in, the Environment Ministry on Friday said that it hoped the cost of alternative products shall come down as these cheaper plastic items are phased down completely.
Admitting that the alternatives (to plastic) are generally more expensive than SUP, the Ministry said, plastic is a commonly available product and petro-based plastic products are comparatively cheaper.
"The alternatives may be more expensive as long as the SUP items exist in the market. With the ban coming into effect, the scale of production of alternatives will go up and their cost will come down," a top official from the Ministry said.
Asked if the government is planning to support or incentivize industry shifting to alternatives (Incubator support), pat came the answer that to encourage, the transition from manufacturing of banned SUP items, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is providing support to enterprises under various schemes of the Ministry.
As to the progress in development of standards for biodegradable plastics, the Ministry official said, a tentative/ provisional Indian Standard has been notified by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the assessment of biodegradability of plastics in varied conditions.
As reported by IANS on the day it was published, i.e. on June 17, the notification by the BIS, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, will help manufacturers of products to determine ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials and thereby enable them to replace their existing practices for upgraded standards.
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