India Has Announced Yet Another Plastic Ban

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Ảnh: Xianyu hao/Unsplash.
Photo: Xianyu hao/Unsplash.

The draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021, which the Union environment ministry announced on March 11, has proposed a blanket ban on a list of plastic items, among other changes.

The draft notification is in keeping with India’s announcement at the UN Environment Assembly in 2019, where it piloted a resolution for a global phase-out of single-use plastics by 2025. While the resolution failed to muster enough support, especially in the face of tough opposition from the US, India made a political decision to move ahead with the implementation.

Bans have been an integral part of the Indian policymaking landscape. The Sikkim government passed the country’s first plastic-bag ban in 1998. Plastic bags have since been the poster-children of governments keen to showcase proactive environmental action. In the last decade, 22 states and union territories have imposed complete or partial bans on plastic carry bags.

India’s ban culture can’t be seen in isolation, and warrants scrutiny from a historical perspective.

Addendum: What’s new in the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021?

The applicability of rules has been extended to brand-owners and plastic waste processors (including recyclers, co-processors, etc.). In addition, new definitions for the terms ‘non-woven plastic bag’, ‘plastic waste processing’, ‘single use plastic’, ‘thermoset’ and ‘thermoplastic’ have been introduced.

The amendment also proposes a ban on the following items:

* Manufacturing of carry bags below 120 µm thickness (effective from September 30, 2021)

* Manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration (effective from January 1, 2022)

* The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of 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 µm thick, and stirrers (effective from July 1, 2022).

Source: Science.thewire

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