Government Bans Single Use Plastic Items from 1st July 2022

Opportunity India Desk
Opportunity India Desk Jun 29 2022 - 3 min read
Government Bans Single Use Plastic Items from 1st July 2022
According to a recent statement of Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav, “India is generating about 3.5 million tones of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years.” 

The Government of India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on August 12, 2021, to phase out single-use plastic items. In keeping with the same spirit, the nation is taking a decisive action to reduce pollution brought on, by dispersed and poorly managed plastic garbage, from July 1, 2022. India will outlaw the production, import, stocking distribution, sale and use of single-use plastic items that have a high potential of staying in the environment for a long time. 

Globally, it is acknowledged that single-use plastic waste has an adverse effect on marine as well as terrestrial ecosystems. Single-use plastics-related pollution has emerged as a significant environmental issue that affects all nations.

India led the development of a resolution on single-use plastic pollution at the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019, realising the urgent need for the international community to pay attention to this crucial issue. This resolution's approval at UNEA 4 was a notable development. India worked together with all other member nations to reach agreement on the resolution that will spearhead international action against plastic pollution during the just finished 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2022.

The Government of India has taken strict actions to reduce the pollution brought on by single-use plastic waste. The following items are prohibited; stirrers, ear-buds with plastic sticks, balloons with plastic sticks, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, thermocol (polystyrene) for decorations, plastic plates, cups, and glasses, cutlery (forks, spoons, and knives), straws, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes.

The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than 75 microns and 120 microns with effect from 30th September, 2021 and 31st December, 2022 respectively.

On February 16th, 2022, the Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility on Plastic Packaging were also published as Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the producer's obligation to manage a product in an environmentally sound manner all the way through to the end of its useful life.

The Guidelines will serve as a framework to improve the circular economy of plastic packaging waste, encourage the creation of novel plastic packaging substitutes, and outline the next actions that firms should take to adopt sustainable plastic packaging.

With the help of the Ministry of Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises, the Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering (CIPET), and their state centres, capacity-building workshops are being organised for MSME units to give them technical assistance for manufacturing substitutes for single-use plastic items that are outlawed.

Additionally, provisions have been created to assist these businesses in moving away from single-use plastics, which are now prohibited. The Indian government has also made initiatives to support innovation and create an environment that will hasten the penetration and accessibility of alternatives across the entire nation.

On July 1, 2022, national and state level control rooms will be established, and special enforcement teams will be created to check for illegal production, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of prohibited single-use plastic items. This will ensure that the ban on the identified SUP items is effectively enforced.

To prevent the movement of any prohibited single-use plastic items across state borders, it has been requested that states and union territories establish border checkpoints. The CPCB Grievance Redressal App was introduced to enable citizens to combat the plastics epidemic. On April 5th, the mascot PRAKRITI was also introduced in an effort to reach a larger audience. The government has been making efforts to raise awareness about the need to stop using single-use plastics.

Entrepreneurs and startups, business, the federal, state, and local governments, regulatory agencies, experts, civic organisations, research and development centres, and academic institutions have all participated in the awareness campaign. The Minister of Justice thinks that only by effective engagement, coordinated action, and enthusiastic public participation can the ban be successful.


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