India next country to ban single use plastics

As per the ministry notification issued last year, 19 single-use plastic items from straws and plastic cutlery to plastic sticks for earbuds and ice cream are to be completely banned since July 1.

India has become another country to completely ban certain single-use plastics (SUP). As of July 1, 19 SUP items from straws to plastic cutlery and plastic sticks for earbuds and candy sticks and ice cream are no longer allowed in the second most populous country in the world.

Violations will be punished with fines or even jail terms. The enforcement of the ban will rest with state governments, local bodies, and pollution control authorities.

Environment minister Bhupender Yadav denied appeals from the industry to defer the July 1 deadline stressing that the ministry notification was issued in August 2021 giving the industry ample time to find alternatives. “We have met the industry representatives several times on the issue. We have, in fact, been discussing it with all stakeholders since 2018”, Yadav said at a press event. “We issued standard guidelines in January 2019 and by September 2019 an expert committee set up by the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals submitted a report. Lots of consultation was held and it was decided to ban those SUP items which cannot be collected, cause a litter menace, cannot be recycled and hence are an environmental and health hazard.”

“We don’t want to harass people on this … we seek their cooperation in fighting this environmental hazard that affects everyone,” the minister added.

Only recently Canada banned single-use plastics. Read more about it here.

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