New Delhi, August 13
The Centre on Friday notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, prohibiting identified single-use plastic items with low utility and high littering potential by 2022, keeping in view the adverse impacts of littered plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
According to the gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, with effect from September 30, 2021, the thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from 50 microns to 75 microns and to 120 microns from December 31, 2022.
Officials said this has been done to stop littering due to lightweight plastic carry bags. It will also allow reuse of plastic carry due to increase in thickness.
The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities will be prohibited with effect from July 1, 2022.
They include items like earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration.
Plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers are also part of the prohibited list.
The plastic packaging waste which is not covered under the phase-out of identified single-use plastic items will be collected and managed in an environmentally sustainable way through the Extended Producer Responsibility of the Producer, Importer, and Brand owner (PIBO), as per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as per the rule.
For effective implementation of EPR, the guidelines for Extended Producer Responsibility being brought out have been given legal force through Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021.
The waste management infrastructure in the states/UTs is being strengthened through the Swachh Bharat Mission, officials said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for phase-out single-use plastic by 2022
Pollution due to single-use plastic items is an important environmental challenge confronting all countries.
India is committed to taking action for the mitigation of pollution caused by littered single-use plastics.
In the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly held in 2019, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution, recognising the urgent need for the global community to focus on this very important issue.
The adoption of this resolution at UNEA 4 was a significant step.