New Delhi: Plastic products have long been an environmental hazard in India.
Several states have banned plastic bans, but the implementation has been anything but perfect.
On Friday, the Centre made a fresh move to curb use of plastics in the country.
The Union Environment ministry notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, that manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of certain single-use plastic items with low utility and high littering potential be banned from July 1, 2022.
These include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films used for sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron and stirrers.
The Environment ministry also notified that the thickness of plastic carry bags will be increased from 50 microns to 75 microns and 120 microns from September 30, 2021, to facilitate reuse of plastic carry bags.
It may be recalled that India had, three years ago, moved a resolution at the UN Environment Assembly on addressing pollution resulting from single-use plastic products by 2022.
In his Independence Day speech in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called on the people to stop using single-use plastic bags.
That appeal hasn’t obviously worked.