The Union Ministry of the Environment has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021. Under this, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of certain single-use plastic products with low utility and high littering potential will be prohibited by 2022.
India moved a resolution at the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019 to address the pollution of single-use plastic products by 2022. Also, in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech, urged people to stop using single-use plastic bags.
The manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of certain single-use plastic items such as polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, will be banned from July 1, 2022. These include:
Single-use plastic products to be banned
-Earbuds with plastic sticks
-Polystyrene for decoration
-Plates, cups and glasses
-Cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays
-Wrapping or packing films used for sweet boxes
-Plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron
Starting September 30, 2021, the thickness of plastic bags will be increased from 50 microns to 75 microns and 120 microns. This will also allow the reuse of plastic bags due to an increase in thickness, according to a statement by the Ministry of the Environment.
The plastic packaging waste, which is not covered under the phase-out of identified single-use plastic items, shall be collected and managed in an environmentally sustainable way by producers, importers, and brand owners as per the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. For effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility, the guidelines for it are being brought out and have been given legal force through Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, the ministry said in the statement.
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