Indian Government To Ban Single-Use Plastics From July 1

Environmental News from India: 

Ahead of the total ban on single-use plastics (SUP) from July 1, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued fresh standards for plastics that would be applicable for products to be used as alternatives.

Plastic straws, polythene bags, plastic sticks for candy or ice creams, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic cups, glasses and cutlery items, plastic sticks for earbuds, for balloons, wrapping films for sweet boxes or cigarettes, and even PVC banners of less than 100 microns are only used once. After that, these products find their way into the dustbins or are littered on roads and ultimately end up either in landfills or polluting water bodies.

During a recent event, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said that approximately 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated across India annually.

On Friday, a ministry official said: “The notification by the BIS, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, will help manufacturers of products to determine ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials and thereby enable them to replace their existing practices for upgraded standards.”

The July 1 ban is applicable not just for the manufacturer but also for importers, those stocking it, or those into distribution, and also for those who sell it and, ultimately, the consumer who uses it.

“The Central Pollution Control Board is in talks with all the state boards for effective implementation and, most importantly, to raise awareness about the July 1 ban amongst the common public,” said a top officer from the Environment Ministry.

Asked if the notification has come a tad late, given that the ban is less than fifteen days ahead, the officer said that such notices are issued after a lot of trials (for the substances for which standards are specified) and stakeholder consultations. “It means that the process was initiated much earlier, and all the stakeholders are on board.”

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Source: The Weather Channel