As the single-use plastic ban kicks in from July 1, markets across the country are bracing themselves by putting up posters outside their stores and shops asking customers to carry their own bags. Traders’ associations are also asking shopkeepers to shun the use of banned items. Thus, come Friday, the Centre is going to ban the manufacturing, stocking, import, distribution, sale, and use of all single-use plastic products that have little use and high littering potential.
Meanwhile, the central government has refused to extend the July 1 deadline despite repeated requests from several interest groups, comprising Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies. Here’s the list of the items that will be banned, the penalty amount and how the plastic ban will be enforced from July 1, 2022.
What Is Single-Use Plastic?
Also known as disposable plastics, single-use plastic items are generally used in packaging and are discarded after being used once. They are commonly not disposed of properly and cannot be recycled as well. Since most plastics are not biodegradable, they remain in the environment for a longer duration of time and do not decay, eventually breaking down into smaller chunks known as microplastics.
India has around 683 units that can produce approx. 2.4 lakh tonnes of single-use plastic per annum, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The country also comes in the list of top of 100 nations responsible for single-use plastic waste generations and needs to enforce urgent measures to switch to environmentally sustainable products and services as well as contrive technology that recycles plastic more efficiently.
List Of Single-Use Plastic Items Banned From July 1, 2022
The CPCB has announced a ban on the following items:-
- Balloon sticks
- Cigarette packs
- Cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays
- Sweet boxes
- Candy and ice cream sticks
- Invitation cards
- Polystyrene for decoration
- PVC banners measuring under 100 microns
The environment ministry had already banned polythene bags under 75 microns last year, broadening the limit from the earlier 50 microns. The ministry will also eliminate plastic bags of thickness less than 120 microns from December 31, 2022, in the country. According to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, there is also a comprehensive ban on sachets using plastic material for packing, storing, or selling pan masala, gutkha, and tobacco.
Plastic sticks comprising plastic flags, earbuds with plastic sticks, ice-cream sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, candy sticks, and thermocol for decoration will be phased out from the market from July 1, 2022. There will be no plastic plates, glasses, cups, spoons, forks, straws, knives, trays or even stirrers for coffee and tea, to eat food or drink beverages. Cigarette packets, cling films, and invitation cards will also disappear from the market.
What’s The Penalty?
Those found to be flouting the single-use plastic ban can be fined under the Environment Protection Act 1986, which allows jail of up to five years, or a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both. Moreover, there are several municipal laws on plastic waste, which have their own penal codes.
How The Single-Use Plastic Ban Will Be Enforced From July 1, 2022?
The CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) will surveil the ban effective from July 1, 2022. Directives have been issued at the national, state and local levels to not provide raw materials to industries that operate in banned items. Local authorities have been directed to issue new commercial licenses with the condition that single-use plastic items will not be retailed at their establishments, and functioning commercial licenses will be annulled if they are founded to be selling these items.