From 30 September 2021, the thickness of plastic carry bags will be increased from 50 microns to 75 microns and 120 microns (Bloomberg)
राजनीति

Govt notifies amended rules for identified single use plastic items


NEW DELHI: The environment ministry on Friday notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, prohibiting the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution and sale besides the use of certain single-use plastics.

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to stop the use of single-use plastic bags in his Independence Day speech in 2019.

According to a government statement, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of some single-use products including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene will be prohibited from 1 July, 2022. According to the statement, these will include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (commonly known as thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films used for sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron and stirrers. According to the statement, these are seen having low utility but high littering potential, impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

“The State and union territory governments and concerned Central Ministries and Departments have also been requested to develop a comprehensive action plan for elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and its implementation in a time bound manner,” the statement said.

“Directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, have been issued to all States/Union Territories inter alia for setting up for institutional mechanism for strengthening enforcement of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016,” it said.

From 30 September 2021, the thickness of plastic carry bags will be increased from 50 microns to 75 microns and 120 microns, the statement said adding that this will also allow the reuse of plastic carry bags.

“The plastic packaging waste, which is not covered under the phase-out of identified single-use plastic items, shall be collected and managed in an environmentally sustainable way by producers, importers, and brand owners as per the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016,” the statement said.

“For effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility, the guidelines for it are being brought out and have been given legal force through Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021,” the statement said.

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