India sets global example by banning single-use plastic items

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Single-use plastics are generally items that are discarded after being used once and do not go through the recycling process.

The extensive use of plastics across the world has caused a lot of threats, governments and various global regulatory bodies are working to stop it.

While people around the world are busy finding a solution to deal with this situation, India has a per capita plastic consumption of 11 kg compared to the global average per capita plastic consumption of 28kg, a report on plastic waste management by Indian Housing and Urban Affairs revealed. Ministry.

India has banned the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high litter potential, across the country from July 1, 2022.

A ban on the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high litter potential, is entered into force on July 1. The list of prohibited items includes – headphones with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such such as forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, wrapping or wrap around candy boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners of less than 100 microns, stirrers.

India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report (2019-2020) states that 3.5 million metric tons of plastic waste is generated annually in India. The CPCB in its report on “the impact of plastic waste disposal on the quality of soil and water in Lucknow landfills” had found that the dumping of plastic waste can deteriorate the quality of soil and water. underground due to the leaching of additives, colorants, stabilizers and fillers present in the various categories of plastic products.

Globally, plastic pollution has become a serious threat in the absence of a streamlined PWM focused on reusing, reducing and recycling plastic waste. The global recycling percentage is low, only 9%, which requires immediate and integrated actions to manage plastic on a global scale and focus on recycling or upcycling.

All developed and developing countries are individually taking action to manage plastic waste, but the responsibility lies primarily with developing countries.

Plastic was first invented in 1907, and since it was cheaper and more convenient than other materials, it quickly found a variety of uses in our daily lives.

Today, plastic is present in almost everything, from our money to electronic devices, and it is used in multiple sectors, including packaging, building, construction, transport, industrial machinery and health, among others.

From 1950 to 2015, approximately 8.3 billion metric tons (BMT) of plastic were produced globally, of which 80% – 6.3 BMT – was considered plastic waste.

Plastic pollution has grown from two million tons in 1950 to 348 million tons in 2017, becoming a global industry valued at $522.6 billion, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has said. It should double in capacity by 2040.

In India, the plastic waste management rules of 2016 and 2018 and the recently announced amendment of 2021 focus on single-use plastics. The rules detail the different categories of plastics and recommend recycling methods based on the type of plastic polymer used.

Additionally, industries generating plastic waste, commonly referred to as pre-consumer waste, require as much attention as post-consumer waste. Various manufacturing industries around the world produce 400 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, with the packaging industry being the biggest contributor.

According to a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), 40% of packaging needs in India are met using plastic. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and 2018 mention the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach, which gives producers substantial responsibility (financial and/or physical) for the treatment and disposal of plastic waste post-consumer.

To meet the challenge of the growing waste crisis in the country, India started putting in place its regulatory framework on waste management almost two decades ago.

In 2000, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change notified the first-ever waste management law in the form of the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules.10 Since then, national regulations on waste management have evolved in several respects. and has undergone a massive transformation.

The amendment rules on the management of plastic waste in the country also prohibit the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of plastic carrier bags with a thickness of less than 75 microns at from September 30, 2021 and with a thickness of less than 120 microns. from December 31, 2022.

The harmful effects of single-use plastic waste on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in the marine environment, are globally recognized.

This story was published from a news feed with no text edits.

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