Single use plastic ban from July 1, brace for crackdown

Plastic waste littered in New Delhi (image credit X @_NoPlasticWaste)

Plastic waste littered in New Delhi (image credit X @_NoPlasticWaste)

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 28: Ear buds and balloons with plastic sticks, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration among others should not be visible from July 1 as the universal ban comes in force.

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 should also disappear from the market places, as the government is gearing up to demonstrate that it means business in enforcing the ban.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on 12 August 2021.

The move was aimed to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste.

The hills, rivers, ponds seas and even the drains have borne the brunt of the littered plastic wastes in the country.

“India will ban manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential, all across the country from July 1, 2022,” said the Ministry of Environment in an official statement on Tuesday.

In the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly held in 2019, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution.

In the recently concluded 5th session of United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2022, India engaged with all member states to develop consensus on the resolution for driving global action on plastic pollution.

The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than seventy five microns with effect from 30th September, 2021, and having thickness less than 120 microns with effect from the 31st December, 2022.

“For effective enforcement of ban on identified SUP items from 1 July 2022, national and state level control rooms will be set up and special enforcement teams will be formed for checking illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned single use plastic items,” said the ministry.

It also stated that States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border check points to stop inter-state movement of any banned single use plastic items.

Additionally, Grievance Redressal App has been launched to empower citizens to help curb plastic menace.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seemingly positioning as a global leader in climate action, as seen in his speeches at the G7 Summit in Germany. The Central government is likely to make the July 1 ban an event that the international agencies take note of.

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