The Centre has suggested a ban on single-use plastics by next year in two phases beginning from January 1, 2022. They have even issued a draft notification giving a detailed timeline on how they plan to execute the move without interrupting small businesses and traders. Aiming to reduce plastic waste across the country, the government has also decided to double the thickness of polythene bags from 50 microns to 120 microns from this year. Earlier, the government had strictly banned the use of polythene bags of less than 50 microns.
The Centre is planning to prohibit the use, manufacture, sale, import, stocking of all single-use plastic commodities under the amended rule ahead of India’s 75th Independence Day celebration on August 15, 2022. The government plans to increase the thickness of carrying bags made of virgin or recycled plastic. The move aims to reduce the number of uncollected plastics in the country, currently, nearly 40% of the plastic waste in the country is uncollected and this resulted in the choking of the drainage system and contamination of soil, river etc.
On Thursday, the draft notification issued by the Environment Ministry has named and defined the single-use plastic, which is to be prohibited in a planned manner in two phases. From January 1, 2022, there will be restriction over the use of certain plastic items such as plastic flags, earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, and decoration material. However, the use of certain other things such as plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing film around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, and stirrers will be banned from July 1, 2022.
The collection, storage, transportation, and processing of waste management will be assigned to urban local bodies and grama Panchayats. Besides, the thickness of the carry bags made of compostable plastic will not be included in the provision of thickness. Those planning to manufacture and sell compostable plastic carry bags will need to get a certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board before marketing/selling such items.