Effecting the ban on single-use plastics
About Single Use Plastics
- Single-use plastics are those plastics which are used once or for a short period of time before disposing of them.
- The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags whose thickness is less than 75 microns.
Why are single-use plastics more harmful?
- Due to their disposable nature, there is a greater likelihood of single-use plastic products ending up in the sea than reusable ones.
- Littered single-use plastic items have an adverse effect on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
- The plastic typically used in bottles, bags and food containers contains chemical additives such as endocrine disruptors, which can cause adverse health effects including cancers, birth defects and immune system suppression in humans and wildlife.
Global measures against Single use plastics
- Bangladesh became the first country to ban thin plastic bags in 2002;
- New Zealand banned plastic bags in July 2019.
- China had issued a ban on plastic bags in 2020 with a phased implementation.
- As of July 2019, 68 countries have plastic bag bans with varying degrees of enforcement.
What have been done by India
- India spearheaded a resolution on single-use plastics pollution at the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019, which was adopted.
- Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which came into effect from September 30, 2021, prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags whose thickness is less than 75 microns.
- Plastic carry bags whose thickness is less than 120 microns will be banned from December 31, 2022.
- The notification states that plastic or PVC banners/ hoardings should have more than 100 microns in thickness, and non-woven plastic (polypropylene) must be more than 60 GSM (grams per square metre).
- For effective enforcement of the ban, national and State-level control rooms will be established, as well as special enforcement teams for monitoring the illegal sale and use of single-use plastics.
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has launched a grievance redressal application to empower citizens to help curb the plastic menace.
- The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022 gives the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) which makes it the responsibility of a producer for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life.
- The guidelines also provides a framework for strengthening the circular economy of plastic packaging waste, promote the development of new alternatives to plastic packaging
SOURCE: THE HINDU
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