Rather than ban the use of single-use plastic, the government has decided to campaign against it. As an early move, the Department for Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade has reportedly advised online retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart to gradually slash the use of disposable plastic in the packaging of the products they deliver. Given the copious quantities of plastic sheets that most of these packages land at doorsteps with, this is worthy advice that needs to be heeded. It’s about time these firms adopted alternate material that reduces the country’s polymer footprint.

It’s true that both Amazon and Flipkart have made frequent claims about their efforts to operate with better ecological sensitivity than they did in the past, but customers—and they have vast numbers of them—have not been impressed. Data may be hard to come by, but no one doubts that the home delivery of products large and small has resulted in a spike in plastic consumption. According to multiple surveys, the return rate of items brought online is as high as 30%, which means that much packaging gets used needlessly. While much attention has been paid to the eco-friendliness of carry bags dispensed by regular supermarkets and shops, the online industry had escaped scrutiny, by and large.

Delivery costs, of course, will rise. But environmental responsibility must come first. As people get more and more concerned about pollution and other forms of environmental degradation, not just online retailers but other consumer-facing companies will probably realize going green is good for business too.

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