India bans Single-Use Plastic to save the environment

The Union Environment Ministry officials said that a ban on certain single-use plastic (SUP) will be implemented by July 1, 2022. The state governments are going to enforce this campaign of closing down the production, distribution, stocking, and sale of plastic items.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change’s notification of the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules on August 12, 2021, aims to prohibit identified single-use plastic items with low utility and high littering problems by the year 2022. The rule will come into full effect imposing a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and use of single-use plastics from July 1, 2022.

The single-use plastic manufacturer companies employ almost 200,000 workers directly and 450,000 in indirect ways. According to the ministry, the same industry costs around INR 10,000 crore and the ban will be inflicted on plastic items like plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, wrapping or packaging films, banners, straws, and more.

The Union Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav said, “We are expecting cooperation from the FMCG industry. The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are currently manufacturing single-use plastic, would be urged to shift to making alternatives. We would run awareness programs. The government is committed to the initiative and will not take a step back.”

However, the industry affiliates urged the government not to put an entirely blanket ban on the SUP but rather incorporate the ban in a phased manner.

Products that will come under the ban from Friday are cutlery, plates, cups, forks, knives, trays, earbuds, balloon sticks, cigarette packs, sweet boxes, candy wraps, ice cream sticks, invitation cards, and polystyrene for decoration containing plastic under 100 microns.