Single-use plastic is the type of plastic that is only used once and then thrown away in the trash. Such kind of plastic has “low utility and high littering potential”. Plastic waste is increasing due to the maximum usage of plastic products, primarily single-use plastic. Due to this, there are various diseased spreading and also an increase in pollution.
What is Single-use Plastic Ban?
The Government of India proposed the Single-use Plastic Ban effective from 1st July 2022. The type of plastic that is considered single-use plastic is: earbuds, plastic straws, balloon plastic sticks, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic stirrers, cigarette packets, plastic bags, etc. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change issued the notification for a single-use plastic ban due to the difficulty of collecting and recycling.
While the ban does not apply to all plastic bags, it does require manufacturers to produce plastic bags thicker than 75 microns, more than the previous lower limit of 50 microns. According to the notification, this standard will be raised to 120 microns in December of this year.
How the Ban will be Implemented?
The ban will be monitored closely by CPCB and SPCB. They will report to the Centre regularly. Strict directions have been issued to the local, state, and national levels. For example, petrochemical industries — do not supply raw materials to industries engaged in the banned items. The local authorities have been instructed to issue new licenses with the condition that SUPs won’t be sold by them, and if found selling the restricted items, their commercial licenses will be canceled.
The CPCB has passed 200+ commercial certificates in the first week of July to the manufacturers of compostable plastic and BIS passed standards for biodegradable plastic. Those who are found violating the rules can be penalized under the Environment Protection Act 1986 – which allows for imprisonment up to 5 years, a penalty up to Rs 1 lakh, or both. Violators can also be asked to pay Environmental Damage Compensation by SPCB according to the rules. In addition, there are municipal laws on plastic waste, with their own penal codes.