No proposal to expand single use plastic ban, govt informs Lok Sabha

12 December, 2022 | Pragati Singh

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The central government is currently considering no proposal to broaden the scope of the ban on single-use plastics, Union environment, forest, and climate change minister Bhupender Yadav told the L...

The central government is currently considering no proposal to broaden the scope of the ban on single-use plastics, Union environment, forest, and climate change minister Bhupender Yadav told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Minister Yadav’s remark came in response to a question from legislator Umesh G Jadhav concerning the specifics of the proposed increase, if any, of the designated plastic products under the ban. The Centre’s ban on certain single-use plastics to prevent plastic waste went into effect on July 1, 2022.

Single-use plastics are often things that are thrown after being used only once and are not recycled. They contribute significantly to plastic pollution.

Earbuds with plastic sticks, balloons with plastic sticks, 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 are among the prohibited items.

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 noted that actions had been taken in response to the deviations, including the seizure of prohibited single-use plastic goods and the imposition of a penalty.

According to available data, the penalty imposed during the enforcement activities was roughly Rs 5,81,78,001, with 775,577 kg of material seized.

Furthermore, the minister stated that producers/importers/brand owners involved in the production/importation/use of prohibited single-use plastic items have not been allowed registration on the centralised EPR platform for plastic packaging.