Single-use plastic ban to come into force across India from tomorrow

Guwahati:  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 28 June has notified that govt will ban identified single-use plastic items across the country from 1 July.

“India will ban the 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,” it said in a statement.

Single-use plastic is those items that are used only once and discarded.

The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in the marine environments are globally recognized. Addressing pollution due to single-use plastic items has become an important environmental challenge confronting all countries, it said.

Earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic glasses, plastic 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.

The ministry notification also said that for the effective enforcement of the ban on identified SUP items, national and State level control rooms are to be set up for checking the illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned single-use plastic items.

The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, have already prohibited the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than seventy-five microns. Plastic carry bags having a thickness less than the thickness of one hundred and twenty microns will be prohibited with effect from the 31st December 2022.

Earlier on Monday, Thermoformers and Allied Industries Association (TAIA) had urged the government not to impose a blanket ban on single-use plastics from July 1 and instead do it in a phased manner.

Plastic plates, cups, glasses and trays are made from single-use plastics and the imposition of a ban will stop the manufacturing of these products and kill the 10,000-crore size industry that employs 2 lakh people directly and 4.5 lakh people indirectly, it said.

Beverage manufacturers and industry associations had petitioned the government to allow a gradual phasing out of plastic straws for small packs of juice, fizzy drink and milk-based beverage.

Companies said the imposition of the ban from 1 July would lead to several challenges such as supply constraints and making arrangements for alternative items, such as imported paper straws, as well as an increase in costs.

Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), which represents Coca-Cola India, PepsiCo India, Parle Agro, Dabur, Diageo and Radico Khaitan, among others, said the transition could lead to losses of 3,000 crores in sales for the industry.

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