India Progressing Steadily on Path to Eliminate Single Use Plastic: MoEFCC

India Progressing Steadily on Path to Eliminate Single Use Plastic: MoEFCC

In reply to a question on India’s progress on path to eliminate Single-use plastics, the Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Choubey said that, according to a draft notification released earlier this year, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of some of the identified single-use plastic items will be prohibited by January 1, 2022.

Schedule for Ban of Single-Use Plastics

As per the draft notification issued on 11th March 2021, 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:

DateSingle-Use Plastic Items to be Phased Out
30 September 2021Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 120 microns in thickness.
Non-woven plastic carry bag less than 60 GSM (Gram per square meter) or 240 microns in thickness
01 January 2022Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration.
01 July 2022Single-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
India’s Path to Eliminate Single Use Plastic

The above provisions shall not apply to commodities (including carry bags) made of compostable plastic material. The regulatory regime for phasing out single use plastic items is based on low utility and high littering potential of such items.

The Ministry had also issued “Standard Guidelines for Single-Use Plastic” on 21st January 2019 to all States/UTs and Ministries. The Standard guidelines entails waste management system improvements, legal options for States/UTs to prohibit SUP items through regulatory measures, eco-friendly alternatives, social awareness and public education.

On asked whether the Government is contemplating at developing any roadmap for Research and Development to find alternatives to single-use plastics and whether any technical group has been formed to study the subject matter . The Minister replied that the the Department of Science and Technology has a programme on waste management technologies under which research and development on alternatives to single use plastics is supported. A Committee has also been constituted to find out / develop an alternative product to plastic by NITI Aayog.

Further, the States/UTs have been requested to constitute a Special Task Force under Chairpersonship of Chief Secretary/Administrator for elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. Already, 14 States/UTs have constituted the Special Task Force till date.

A National Level task-force 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.

Directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, had been issued to all State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees, regarding registration of producers and brand owners for fulfilment of extended producer responsibility in October, 2020.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had also issued a profoma for Action Plan for fulfilment of extended producer responsibility in June, 2019. The CPCB has also issued Standard Operating Procedure for registration of Producer, Importer and Brand Owner under PWM Rules, 2016, as amended, for effective implementation of EPR in March, 2021. Separately, ‘Guidelines for assessment of Environmental Compensation for violation of PWM Rules, 2016’ have also been issued by CPCB.

References:

  • Answers of Minister of State to Questions (Unstarred 697 & 752) raised in Loksabha
  • Indian on Path to Eliminate Single Use Plastic

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