Why is Single-Use Plastic Being Banned in India From July 1?

Environmental News from India: 

The Centre has banned the use of ‘single-use plastic’ from July 1. The Ministry for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change issued a gazette notification last year announcing the ban and has now defined a list of items that will be banned from next month.

“The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from the 1st July 2022,’’ says the Ministry notification.

What is single-use plastic?

As the name suggests, it refers to plastic items that are used once and discarded. Single-use plastic has among the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used — from the packaging of items to bottles (shampoo, detergents, cosmetics), polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, trash bags, food packaging, etc.

A 2021 report by one of the Australian philanthropic organizations the Minderoo Foundation said single-use plastics account for a third of all plastic produced globally, with 98% manufactured from fossil fuels. Single-use plastic also accounts for the majority of plastic discarded – 130 million metric tonnes globally in 2019 — “all of which is burned, buried in landfills or discarded directly into the environment”, the report said.

On the current trajectory of production, it has been projected that single-use plastic could account for 5-10% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The report found that India features in the top 100 countries of single-use plastic waste generation – at rank 94 (the top three being Singapore, Australia and Oman. With domestic production of 11.8 million metric tonnes annually, and import of 2.9 MMT, India’s net generation of single-use plastic waste is 5.6 MMT, and per capita, generation is 4 kg.

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Source: The Indian Express

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