Plastics have been used for a long time, be it in the packaging of products, disposable cutlery, or other small and big commodities. However, the fact can’t be ignored that the easier it makes things, the more it harms the environment. Therefore, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change decided to ban Single-Use Plastic from July 1, 2022.
What is Single-Use Plastic?
Single-Use Plastic, as the name suggests, is the plastic used only once. It includes plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, etc., discarded after use. It is the most manufactured type of plastic considered for packaging various FMCG products. Moreover, it has harmful effects on the planet, as accepted by many studies.
What is the ban all about?
Since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power in 2014, it has been taking several initiatives for the betterment of the nation. To reduce the damage caused by plastic waste in India, the central government issued a notification on August 12, 2021, as the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021.
It is regarding a ban on Single-Use Plastic which was put into effect on July 01, 2022, for selected items. This ban was imposed due to the adverse impact of littering of single-use plastic causes on the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
This ban prohibited activities like manufacturing, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic bags that have less than twenty-five microns thickness from September 30, 2021. By 2022, plastic bags with less than one hundred and twenty microns will also be prohibited.
Besides, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has also issued Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR). These guidelines are for the plastic used for packaging FMCG products. The producers’ sole responsibility will be to ensure that the damage caused by their plastic usage is duly managed, states the guidelines.
While the states and Union Territories have set up checkpoints to ensure that no banned single-use plastic goods move in or out from them, they are also using different ways to ensure that the ban is followed correctly in their governed areas. A Grievance redressal cell is launched by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to help people to curb the use of single-use plastic.
Penalties and fines will be imposed on violating these bans as per Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act (EPA). According to it, failing to comply will lead to imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to one lakh rupees or both.
List of banned Single-Use Plastic Items
- Plastic Sticks for Balloons
- Candy Sticks
- Ice Cream Sticks
- Polystyrene (Thermal)
- Wrapping or packaging films used to wrap sweet boxes
- Invitation Cards
- Cigarette packers
- Plastic or PVC banners that are of less than 100 microns