The ban on select single-use plastics by the Center to reduce plastic wastage comes into effect today. Items that are discarded after being used only once and do not go through the recycling process are a big contributor to plastic pollution.
A National Control Room has been established in the Central Pollution Control Board to monitor the enforcement of the ban, besides asking the state boards to undertake comprehensive Awareness activities including a social media campaign, interactive meetings with industries, colleges, schools, and other institutions.
The production, import, storage, distribution, sale, and use of usable plastic materials have been completely banned from July 1, 2022. These include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks used in balloons, plastic flags, candy/chocolate sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene [thermocol] for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, such as forks, spoons, Around knives, straws, trays and sweet boxes, invitations, cigarette packet wrapping film or packing film, etc.
All producers/stockists/retailers/shopkeepers/e-commerce establishments/street vendors/commercial establishments (market areas, shopping centers, cinema houses, tourist spots, schools, colleges, office complexes, hospitals, and other establishments) and general. The public may use the following alternative materials instead of the disposable plastic materials as per the time limit specified in the notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.
The banned items include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns and stirrers.
The government has recommended using the alternatives like Bamboo / wooden sticks, Paper/cloth flags, Paper/cloth material for decoration, Paper / earthen cups, plates made of banana leaves and shawl leaves, bamboo / wooden forks, knives, bamboo/paper straw, Paper bags, cloth bags, burlap bags, biodegradable plastic bags, etc.
In line with the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to phase out single-use plastic items by 2022, the environment ministry had notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on 12 August 2021.