No proposal to expand single-use plastic ban, govt informs LS

The ban on select single-use plastics by the Centre in order to reduce plastic wastage came into effect on July 1, 2022.
Representative image
Representative image

NEW DELHI: The central government currently has no proposal under consideration to expand the scope of the ban on single-use plastics, Union environment, forest, and climate change minister Bhupender Yadav informed Lok Sabha on Monday.

The response by minister Yadav was in reply to a question by parliamentarian Umesh G Jadhav about the details of the proposed expansion, if any, of the identified plastic items under the ban.

The ban on select single-use plastics by the Centre in order to reduce plastic wastage came into effect on July 1, 2022. Single-use plastics are typically items that are discarded after being used only once and do not go through the recycling process. They are a big contributor to plastic pollution.

The banned items include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns and stirrers.

Earlier, the government prohibited the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than seventy-five microns with effect from 30 September 2021, and having a thickness less than the thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect from December 31, 2022.

To ramp up the production of environment-friendly and degradable substitutes for single-use plastics, capacity-building workshops are being organized for industrial units to provide them with technical assistance for the manufacturing of alternatives to banned single-use plastic items with the involvement of various government agencies.

Provisions have also been made to support such several enterprises in transitioning away from the banned single-use plastics. Further, on being queried whether the Government has found any manufacturers continue to produce plastic items like straws, straw covers, cigarette packets etc., and such items are also available in small shops, the minister replied: "During the enforcement campaign, non-compliance of the ban on identified single-use plastic has been found in commercial establishments and manufacturing units including in small shops in local markets."

He added actions have been taken on the deviations, which include the seizure of banned single-use plastic items and a levy of penalty. As per available information, the penalty levied during the enforcement campaigns is approximately Rs 5,81,78,001 and 775,577 kg of material was seized.

Further, the minister said the producers/importers/brand owners engaged in producing/ importing/using banned single-use plastic items have not been granted registration on the centralized EPR portal for plastic packaging.

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