As of July 1, 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has implemented a nationwide ban on certain single-use plastic (SUP) items.
Plastic banned in India
Carrying forward the spirit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava’, the country is taking a definitive step to curb the pollution caused by dumped and unmanaged plastic waste. India will ban the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high litter potential, across the country from July 1, 2022.
The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including the marine environment, are globally recognized. Addressing pollution due to single-use plastic items has become a major environmental challenge faced by all countries.
“According to the Act, whoever breaches the provisions can be punished with imprisonment for a term that can be extended to five years or with a fine that can be extended to Rs 1 lakh, or with both.”
To make the ban more effective, control rooms have been established at the national and state levels to check the illegal manufacturing, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of prohibited single-use plastic items. In addition, states and union territories have been asked to establish border checkpoints to stop the interstate movement of any prohibited single-use plastic items, the Ministry said in a recent statement.
“The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) complaint remediation app was launched to empower citizens to help curb the plastic menace,” a Ministry statement read. In addition, appropriate instructions have been issued for e-commerce companies, leading SUP users and plastic raw material manufacturers to phase out such items.
At the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019, India had piloted a resolution on how to tackle pollution from single-use plastic products, recognizing the urgent need for the global community to focus on this issue. so important. The adoption of this resolution at UNEA 4 was a significant step. At the fifth session of the recently concluded United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2022, India constructively engaged with all member states to develop a consensus on the resolution to drive global action on plastic pollution.
List of the banned items
The Government of India has taken resolute steps to mitigate pollution caused by littered Single-Use Plastics. The list of banned items includes:
Earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
- Khadi bags, bamboo straws and cutlery, stainless steel straws, fluid ear care products, and reusable cups and glasses are among the alternatives.
- Use bamboo headphones or use ear drops as an alternative.
- Use reusable or biodegradable containers made from eco-friendly materials like glass, food-grade stainless steel, bamboo, rice husks, etc.
- Use reusable cutlery made of stainless steel or biodegradable cutlery made of wood, bamboo, or other natural fibers. Don’t forget to say no to plastic cutlery when ordering food online by opting out.
- Also take steel, bamboo or wheat straws with you when you go out.
- Instead, use reusable glass or ceramic cups.
- Use paper bags or cloth bags.
The Government of India has also taken steps to promote innovation and provide an ecosystem for accelerated penetration and availability of alternatives across the country.
For the effective enforcement of the ban on identified SUP items from July 1, 2022, control rooms will be established at the national and state levels and special enforcement teams will be formed to control the manufacturing, import, storage, distribution, Illegal sale and use of single-use plastic prohibited. items. States and Union Territories have been asked to establish border checkpoints to stop the interstate movement of any prohibited single-use plastic items.
The CPCB Grievance Redressal app was launched to empower citizens to help curb the plastic menace. For a wider public reach, PRAKRITI the mascot was also released on April 5.
The Government has been taking measures to raise awareness towards the elimination of single-use plastics The awareness campaign has brought together entrepreneurs and startups, industry, Central, State and Local Governments, regulatory bodies, experts, citizen organizations, R&D and academic institutions.
The success of the ban will only be possible through effective engagement and concerted actions by all stakeholders and enthusiastic public participation, the Ministry believes.
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