The Plastics Conundrum What is the Way Out?
It has been more than a decade since the debate on the feasibility of plastics started at the international level. The environmentalists and the plastics industry have slugged it out on whether plastics are good or bad and the debate has become extremely convoluted. Nevertheless, there are some points of agreement that have emerged from this debate. A significant segment of the antiplastics movement has accepted the unavoidability of plastics and recognised their benefits to mankind. At the same time, the plastic industry has by and large agreed that there are certain ecological effects caused by plastics in various stages of its life cycle. With such admissions and acknowledgements being made, the focus now shifts to how the banes of plastics should be addressed. It is this that forms the subject matter of this paper. This paper examines the viability of the command-and-control approach and that of the market-based alternatives in addressing the environmental problems caused by plastics.[Working Paper No. 0033]
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