Even as the state-wide plastic ban came into effect on Monday, traders and manufacturers of plastic have launched an indefinite strike in the state.
According to a report in the Times of India, the plastic industry has alleged that the state government has not given them enough time to prepare, prior to implementing the plastic ban.
Speaking to the newspaper, one trader said, "We were not involved in any discussions. None of our suggestions were considered. All of us have taken loans worth several crores of rupees from banks. How can we shift business within six months."
On World Environment Day this year, with a view to curb the effects of plastic on the environment, the Tamil Nadu government announced a ban on non-biodegradable and single-use plastic and had recommended the use of natural, environmental-friendly products. Explaining the dangers that the use of plastic has, on the environment and on animals, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami told the Assembly on June 5, “With the vision of gifting a plastic-free Tamil Nadu to our future generation, the government hereby bans the use of plastic goods of all sizes (microns).”
According to a report in The New Indian Express, traders in Thoothukudi district too downed their shutters, condemning "the state government for not giving proper alternatives for the ancillary businesses."
Speaking to the newspaper, Thoothukudi Plastic Manufacturers and Sellers Association President Senthil Kumar said, "While it was said that paper cups, non-woven carry bags, Polypropylene (PP covers) and aluminium foil could be used as alternatives, some officials say that these are also banned. Though we also subscribe to the idea of a plastic ban in the state, it is disheartening to note that our concerns were not taken into account by the Chief Minister."
The traders also pointed out that the plastic ban particularly disadvantages the retail sector since packaged foods that are wrapped with use-and-throw plastic materials (such as biscuits and chips packets) continue to be allowed.