The Centre on Tuesday imposed a ban on Single-Use Plastics from July 1 to prevent the impact caused by them on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in marine environment.
According to the government, there would be a complete ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags.
The list of the prohibited items includes earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
Meanwhile, The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, earlier prohibited the use of plastic bags having a thickness less than 75 microns from 30th September 2021 however, same with the thickness of 120 microns will be banned from 31 December 2011.
Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav while speaking to the media mentioned it as a crucial step against pollution. “This is an important step in the fight against pollution. With the SUP ban, we are looking at getting rid of items that have low utility, have high littering potential, and, equally, availability of alternatives,” he said, as quoted by IANS.
Meanwhile, questioning the step taken by the Centre, Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network for Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) said, “Forget small items such as candy sticks or polythene, the pollution control agencies have spectacularly failed to take any punitive actions against big pollutants, either dumping industrial effluents in the rivers and water bodies or local bodies sending in sewage. It is the same SPCBs/PCCs and their paraphernalia that have failed. How is this ban going to be different.”.
However, the Ministry of Environment stated that the step will only be a successful one through effective engagement and concerted actions by all stakeholders, and enthusiastic public participation.