Proving that there really are no depths to which multinational corporations won’t sink, Reuters is reporting that H&M and Amazon are among a group of companies that have been lobbying an Indian state to soften its recent ban against single-use plastic.
The ban, enforced in the state of Maharashtra — home to Mumbai, most notably — could “raise costs for companies that rely heavily on plastic for packaging, such as retailers, beverage makers and sellers of bottled water.”
Tipped by four unnamed sources, Reuters is reporting that representatives from “Amazon, H&M, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, as well as plastic industry bodies and lobby groups, met with Maharashtra government officials days before the ban came into effect on June 23, urging them to implement the rule in phases and relax some norms.”
Thankfully, the government hasn’t caved (yet). As the story notes, “plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all public waste globally, and much of it is thrown away within just a few minutes of its first use.”
Pepsi, Coca Cola and Amazon didn’t respond to Reuters request for comment, while H&M said in a statement that “it supported reusing and recycling, adding that [they] had asked the government to clarify the rules and for help coming up with solutions.”
If the above sounds like boilerplate ratfuckery, that’s because it is. All of the companies involved have a vested interest in keeping the garbage flowing, given the already-high cost of packaging and even-higher costs of plastic alternatives.
And that’s why, according to some activists, any leniency could nullify the progress being made as “the plastics industry would use any compliance extensions to try to put off the ban indefinitely.”
Ultimately, a hard ban will be the most effective means of curbing the impact.
You can read more about it at Reuters.