Single-use Plastic Ban
Article by Vishnupriya
If someone asks if you can imagine your life without plastics, what would be your answer? Plastics have always been a crucial part of our daily lives. We are surrounded by it. The objects and technologies that we use, the food packaging, the cosmetics that you apply on your body or maybe your body, all of them and many other items can be or most probably are plastic in nature. They make our lives easier and are recyclable but are they good for the environment and other living things? The answer is no, a hundred times no! Single-use plastics are meant for use and throw purposes but are very harmful to flora and fauna. They contain highly toxic chemicals that can lead to pollution and even the death of living organisms.
Here are a few reasons why single-use plastic is a bane to us and our environment:
Because of their lightweight, single-use plastics can travel longer distances and pollute a greater area. Animals will consume single-use plastic that can harm their endocrine system and even lead to cancer. Also, if you eat those animals you as well will indirectly consume plastic! Most of the time single-use plastics remain uncollected and because they are non-biodegradable they’ll keep on polluting environments for years. Emissions from the production of single-use plastics will leave a huge carbon footprint.
25,940 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day in the nation out of which 40% remains uncollected, therefore, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on 12 August 2021 to completely abolish the production, distribution, sale, and use of single-use plastic from 1st July 2022 in India.
What is the new Amendment? The Central Government proposes to issue, in the exercise of the powers conferred by sections 6, 8, and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for making certain amendments in the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of the following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from the 1st July 2022: 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 packaging films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
The thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from fifty microns to seventy-five microns and one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31st December 2022. Single-use plastic (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) items: plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes; invitation cards; and cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers. The above provision shall not apply to commodities (including carrying bags) made of compostable plastic material.
References: Ban on single-use plastic - INSIGHTSIAS (insightsonindia.com) 10 Reasons Why Single-Use Plastic is Bad for the Health and Environment | Vaya Ban on identified Single Use Plastic Items from 1st July 2022 Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 – Civilsdaily