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Final call for Banning on Single Use Plastics

  • Published
    1st Jul, 2022
Context

The Ministry of Environment has ordered to kick-off the Single use plastic (SUP) products till 1st of July, that too all over the country.

About

What is a Single use plastic?

  • In simplest terms, single-use plastics are products that are created mostly from chemicals derived from fossil fuels (petrochemicals) and are intended to be thrown away immediately after use – often in a matter of minutes.
  • The most popular examples for single-use plastics are in packaging and service items including bottles, wraps, straws, and bags etc.

Single use plastic pollution

  • Land degradation: As plastics left on the ground are carried away by rain or reach river systems via storm drains, trash could be the first phase in wastewater that enters ground water.
  • Water pollution: Merely ten rivers carry 93% of the total quantity of plastics that reaches the oceans through rivers each year, making our waterways’ plastic pollution extremely dense.
  • Biodiversity losses: Alarmingly, according to scientific predictions, there’ll be more plastic in the ocean by mass than fish in 2050.
  • Cause of Concern for Humans:
  • Our health is negatively impacted by micro plastic exposures as well as by the chemical additives to plastics during manufacturing.
  • Research suggests that exposure to so many of the chemicals in plastic, termed endocrine disruptors, may have negative health effects on humans, including hormone abnormalities, reproductive issues like sterility, and sometimes even cancer.

About the Single Use Plastic Ban

  • From July 1, “single-use plastic” would no longer be used.
  • The list of things that would be prohibited has been determined by the Ministry for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.
    • In September 2021, the Ministry already prohibited polythene bags smaller than 75 microns; the previous maximum was 50 microns.
  • The bags smaller than 120 microns will also be prohibited.
  • The following items have been banned by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB):
    • Ear buds
    • Balloon sticks
    • Candy and ice cream sticks
    • Cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays
    • Sweet boxes
    • Invitation cards
    • Cigarette packs
    • PVC banners measuring under 100 microns
    • Polystyrene for decoration
  • The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, also completely forbid the use of sachets to store, package, or sell gutkha, tobacco, or pan masala.

Enforcing Agencies in India

  • The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), which will submit regular reports to the Centre, as well as the CPCB from the centre, will monitor the ban.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): At the national, state, as well as local levels, instructions have been given to all petrochemical companies, for instance, not to supply raw materials to businesses that manufacture the prohibited goods by CPCB.
  • Pollution Control Committees: Additionally, instructions have been given to SPCBs as well as Pollution Control Committees on how to change or cancel the permission to operate granted under the Air/Water Act to businesses that manufacture single-use plastic items.
  • Local governments: have been ordered to provide new commercial licences with the requirement that SUP products will not be offered on their premises and that any permits already in place would be revoked if it is discovered that they are doing so.
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