India generates approximately 25,940 tons of plastic waste on a daily basis and around 9.46 million tons of plastic waste yearly according to the Central Pollution Control Board estimates.
If you’re an Indian and you’re living with your family, you probably have a big plastic bag that’s full of smaller plastic bags somewhere in your home, either in the kitchen or behind the bedroom door.
Although this is a common sight in Indian households, only 60 percent of this waste is recycled whereas the rest remains to litter the environment. India is now strengthening their fight against plastic and plastic pollution.
It will be done through a ban on its use.
India Announces a Ban on Plastic Items to Fight Off the Pollution
India has taken a strong stance against plastics and plastic pollution. They decided to ban the sale and use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastic items are any commodities made of plastic and intended for one use before they’re disposed of or recycled.
The Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change introduced a new set of guidelines-Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021. This is in place of the existing Plastic Waste Management Rule, 2016 that was amended in 2018.
In June 2018, PM Narendra Modi said that India will ban SUP by 2022. This was reinforced during the fourth UNFA meeting that happened in March 2019. India piloted two resolutions, one in relation to the SUPs and the other in relation to Sustainable Nitrogen management.
This helped acknowledge the urgent necessity of the global community focusing on this critical issue and was a major step for India.
In March 2021, the ministry put out a draft notification about the amendment of the PWM Rules, 2016. It asked those affected by the anti-SUP rules to provide suggestions and objections.
What Are the Single-Use Plastic Items that Will Be Banned?
Recently in July, when Lok Sabha questioned the Minister of State for Environment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey about the SUP phasing-out schedule, Chobey said that as per the draft notification, any manufacturing, importation, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of the identified SUPs will be prohibited by January 1st, 2022.
The banned items include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, and polystyrene for decoration.
And, the list goes on; it also includes the ban of single-use plastic cups, plates, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays wrapping and packaging films, invitation cards, cigarette packs, plastic or PVC banners, and more.
From the 30th of September 2021, the allowed plastic bags will need to have a certain thickness, i.e., 75 microns. The ministry believes that this will allow people to reuse their plastic bags after the allowed thickness will be set to 120 microns next year in December.