India bans single-use plastics from July 1: Details here
The ban is India’s war against single-use plastics. However, for this to not become any lazy-policy, experts say, it needs to be complemented by supporting policies.
CHENNAI: The Central Government will ban use of certain single-use plastic items that have a low utility and a high potential for littering, in effect from July 1, Friday.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has prohibited the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice- cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic glasses, plastic cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
Globally, it is proven and asserted that single-use plastic waste has a negative influence on marine environments as well as terrestrial ecosystems. Single-use plastics-related pollution has emerged as a significant environmental issue that affects all nations.
The Ministry announcement further stated that control rooms at the national and State levels must be established in order to monitor the unauthorised production, importation, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of items made of single-use plastic that are forbidden. However, there rises a question among netizens if these enforcement teams can curb stocking and distribution at local shops.
Also, in order to replace the banned items that are of low-utility and easily replaceable, the government has funded nearly seven start-up companies that develop biodegradable materials including Ecoterra Biodesign. However, environmental activists concern that there’s no mass material to replace plastic with, considering that India is a price-sensitive market. Any replacement to plastic has also to be as cost effective as plastic.
Recycling has also turned out to be a not so effective solution as most of the recycled plastic are not upcycled, that is they have degraded quality. This is due to improper segregation of different materials and non-regulated manufacturer markings, according to reports.
The ban is India’s war against single-use plastics. However, for this to not become any lazy-policy, experts say, it needs to be complemented by supporting policies. Without any alternatives, users and manufacturers tend to go back to plastics.