India Bans Certain Single Use Plastic Items from July 2022
In line with the clarion call given by PM Modi to phase out single use plastic by 2022 and keeping in view the adverse impacts of littered plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems MOEFCC has today notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which ban certain single use plastic items from 2022.
During March 2021, MoEFCC had issued draft amendment inviting objections and suggestions from all persons and organisation. After considering the suggestions & objections, the central government has now notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021.
The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021 also defines the term single use plastic.
Single-use plastic commodity mean a plastic item intended to be used once for the same purpose before being disposed of or recycled.Definition of Single Use Plastic
Pollution due to single use plastic items has become an important environmental challenge confronting all countries. India is committed to take action for mitigation of pollution caused by littered Single Use Plastics.
In the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly held in 2019, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution, recognizing the urgent need for the global community to focus on this very important issue. The adoption of this resolution at UNEA 4 was a significant step.
Schedule for Ban of Single-Use Plastic
As per the gazette notification, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of the following identified single use plastic items is proposed to be prohibited as per schedule given below:
|Date||Single-Use Plastic Items to be Phased Out|
|30 September 2021||Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 75 microns in thickness.|
Non-woven plastic carry bag less than 60 GSM (Gram per square meter) or 240 microns in thickness
|01 July 2022||A. Single-use plastic (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) items – Plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straw, container and container lids, trays, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers.|
B. Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration.
|31st December, 2022||Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 120 microns in thickness.|
The plastic packaging waste, which is not covered under the phase out of identified single use plastic items, shall be collected and managed in an environmentally sustainable way through the Extended Producer Responsibility of the Producer, importer and Brand owner (PIBO), as per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The provision of thickness will not be applicable to carry bags made up of compostable plastic. The manufacturers or sellers or brand owners of compostable plastic carry bags will have to obtain a certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board before marketing/selling or using those stuff including plastic packaging materials.
For effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility the Guidelines for Extended Producer Responsibility being brought out have been given legal force through Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021.
Guidelines to States / UT’s
The waste management infrastructure in the States/UTs is being strengthened through the Swachh Bharat Mission. The following steps have also been taken to strengthen implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and also to reduce the use of identified single use plastic items:
- The States/UTs have been requested to constitute a Special Task Force for elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
- A National Level Taskforce has also been constituted by the Ministry for taking coordinated efforts to eliminate identified single use plastic items and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
- The State /UT Governments and concerned Central Ministries/Departments have also been requested to develop a comprehensive action plan for elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and its implementation in a time bound manner.
- Directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, have been issued to all States/Union Territories inter alia for setting up for institutional mechanism for strengthening enforcement of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016.
Measures for Creating Awareness:
The Government has also been taking measures for awareness generation towards elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
A two month long Awareness Campaign of Single Use Plastic 2021 has been organised. The Ministry has also organised pan India essay writing competition on the theme for spreading awareness amongst school students in the country.
To encourage innovation in development of alternatives to identified single use plastic items and digital solutions to plastic waste management, the India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021, has been organised for students of Higher Educational Institutions and startups recognised under Startup India Initiative.