In line with the clarion call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, to phase out single-use plastic items by 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on 12 August 2021. Carrying forward the spirit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava’, a defining step to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste is being taken by the country. 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.
The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in the marine environment are globally recognized. Addressing pollution due to single-use plastic items has become an important environmental challenge confronting all countries.
The Government of India has taken resolute steps to mitigation of 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.
The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than seventy-five microns with effect from 30th September 2021, and having a thickness less than a thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31st December 2022.
Capacity-building workshops are being organized for MSME units to provide the technical assistance for the manufacturing of alternatives to banned single-use plastic items with the involvement of CPCB/SPCBs/PCCs along with the Ministry of Small Micro and Medium Enterprises and Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering (CIPET) and their state centers. Provisions have also been made to support such enterprises in transitioning away from banned single-use plastics.
The Government of India has also taken steps to promote innovation and provide an ecosystem for accelerated penetration and availability of alternatives all across the country.
For effective enforcement of the 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 the illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of banned single-use plastic items. States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border checkpoints to stop the interstate movement of any banned single-use plastic items.
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