India leads its fight against single use plastic, imposes complete ban from today


New Delhi: To fulfill the clarion call made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban single use plastic (SUP) by 2022, the center on Friday imposed a complete ban 19 items of SUP across the country.

The move will see as a major step to fight against the menace of plastic pollution in the country, as it generated 3.5 million tones of plastic waste every year.

Single-use plastics are typically items that are discarded after being used only once and does not go for the recycling process.

The prohibited plastic items include earbuds, flags, candy and ice-cream sticks, decorative thermocol, PVC banners less than 100 microns thick, stirrers, wrapping films, cups, glasses, and cutlery, among others.

The Union government’s ban on single use plastics was announced in August, 2021, under the PWM Rules 2016.

According to a fact sheet released by the environment ministry and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERFI), a think tank, approximately 43% of plastic is used for packaging, with the majority being single-use.

The per capita plastic use in India is about 9.7 kg, mostly packaging material, the central pollution body estimates.

Hailing the move, Union Minister for Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said the step will instrument in realizing the vision of a plastic free India.

“Taking forward the clarion call given by PM Narendra Modi to eliminate single-use plastics, today marks the day when the single-use plastic ban comes into effect” he added.

Ashish Jain Director Founder Indian Pollution Control Association also welcomed the decision and expressed hope that this would be enforced on ground by the regulatory and monitoring bodies and well accepted and supported by the citizens.

“This ban will help to reduce plastic waste generation and its littering in the country and people would adopt more sustainable practices” he said.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has issued a comprehensive message to traders and their employees across the country to follow the ban the order of single use plastic and discourage any use of single use plastic.

The CAIT has also began a national awareness drive which will continue till 31st July across the Country.

CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal more than 40 thousand trade organisations across the country will participate in the campaign and mobilize the traders not to use single use plastic in their shops by carrying out Rallies and Padyatra in their markets located in different cities across the Country.

For effective enforcement of the ban, national and State-level control rooms have been set up, and special enforcement teams formed to check the illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned SUP items, officials in the Ministry said.

States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border checkpoints to stop the inter-State movement of any banned SUP items.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also launched a grievance redressal application to empower citizens to help curb the use of plastic.

Any violation of the norms manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use will attract penalties and punishments laid out under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

According to the Act, whoever fails to comply with the provisions may be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to RS 1 lakh, or with both.

In case the failure or contravention continues, an additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues may be imposed.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has formed 15 teams and the Revenue Department has formed 33 teams for enforcement of the ban from Friday. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will also be part of the implementation.

Businesses engaged in import, stocking and sale of SUP products will be shut down and penalties will also be imposed on them, the DPCC said.  The 19 banned items include plastic cups, spoons, forks, knives, straws and plates, among other things.

According to the annual report on the implementation of plastic waste management rules, 2019–20, it is observed that the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years.

According to UNEP, India is the fifth highest generator of plastic waste, consuming 13 kg of plastic per head compared to more than 100 kg in the USA.

UNEP in its report said the plastic production soared from 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, becoming a global industry valued at $522.61 billion, and it is expected to double in capacity by 2040.

Under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit), greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use, and disposal would account for 15% of allowed emissions by 2050.


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