The Union environment ministry has proposed to implement a countrywide ban on manufacture, use, sale, import and handling of some of the single-use plastic products by 2022. The ministry has issued a draft notification on March 11, which lays down how various single-use plastic products will be prohibited in phases next year.
For example, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [thermocol] for decoration will be prohibited from January 1, 2022. Further, the ban will be extended to single-use plastic (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron and stirrers from July 1, 2022.
The Centre has also decided to increase thickness of polythene bags from at least 50 microns in thickness to at least 120 microns from September 9, 2021.
“Considering the high environmental costs associated with management of single-use plastics, particularly the adverse effect on marine environment, and the need for a definitive action supplementing the initiative undertaken by various states/UTs to combat plastic pollution, it is proposed that a prohibition on the manufacture, use, sale, import and handling of some of the single-use plastic items may be imposed on a pan India basis,” the draft states, adding that a preliminary analysis of state level action on restricting plastic carry bags and some single-use plastic items suggests that many challenges have been faced in the implementation of these regulatory provisions. But some states have achieved considerable success.