INDIA – India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has announced the ban on the production, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of identified single-use plastic items across the country from 1 July 2022.
The ban, carrying forward the spirit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava,’ will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
All the states and Union Territories will set up border checkpoints to stop the inter-state transition of any banned plastic item, said the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The government has decided to set up national and state-level control rooms for checking illegal import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of banned single-use plastic items.
The list of banned items includes earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners, stirrers.
According to the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than 75 microns was banned from 30 September 2021.
The bags with thicknesses less than 120 microns were also banned from 31 December 2022.
The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items 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, said the government of India in a statement.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also published Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility on plastic packaging as Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022 on 16 February 2022.
The guidelines provide a framework to boost the circular economy of plastic packaging waste and promote the development of new alternatives to plastic packaging.
India led the development of a resolution on single-use plastic pollution at the 4th UN Environment Assembly in 2019, realizing the urgent need to pay attention to this issue.
India coordinated with all other member nations to reach an agreement on the resolution that will spearhead International action against plastic pollution during the recent 5th session of the UN Assembly in March 2022.
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