From July 01, 2022, India implemented a Single Use Plastic Ban on certain items. The pollution regulator has issued notices to stockist producers, and e-commerce sites so that such items are no longer used or sold. As per the Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB, items such as flags, candy, earbuds, ice-cream sticks, PVC banners less than 100 microns thick, wrapping films, cutlery, decorative thermocol, cups, and glasses, among others wont’ be allowed,.
Moreover, no plastic vary bags less than 120 Microns thick can be used. As India is ready for this Single Use Plastic Ban.
IN GENERAL, WHAT DOES THIS PLASTIC MEAN
Usually, plastic bags are easily available everywhere and are widely used. In particular it is very popular in grocery stores and proves to be very helpful in bringing groceries.
It is available in many sizes, with it is also economical and very easy to use. However, the price we are paying for using these plastic bags is ignored. Yes, the plastic bags that we use daily in our daily work with so much fervor are very dangerous for the environment.
Plastic that is obtained from fossil fuels such as oil, petroleum. It is widely used for making plastic bags, kitchen items, furniture, doors, packing items and many other things. The increasing use of plastics is increasing the amount of waste generated by plastics making it harder to dispose of as plastic is a non-biodegradable material. It breaks into many pieces and gets spoiled but is not found in the soil, due to which it remains in environment for hundreds of years and spreads pollution. If it is buried in land-fills then there is a possibility of it leaking pollution to land and water. Plastic cannot be destroyed by burning because its combustion produces many Toxic gasses, which can cause many serious diseases. Another issue occurs, when the plastic bags interact with soil and diminish fertility. It has a significant impact on the Agricultural produce and yielding. During rain, these flow into water bodies causing water pollution. In spite of this, it wreaks havoc to aquatic species have found consuming plastic pieces by mistake as natural food and finally succumb to death. Hence, plastic bags are proven to cause the ecological imbalance which threatens the environment, which is our basic life supporting system. This is the time we need to understand the seriousness of problem, how plastic is ultimately damaging our environment which has adverse effects on environment as well as trees, animals, sea water and mankind.
To ensure the protection of the environment we should reduce the use of plastic products, so that a clean environment can be created.
WHAT DOES THIS PLASTIC BAN ACTUALLY MEAN
It means that from 1st July, 2022,
It means that from 1st July, 2022- Manufacure, Importing, Stocking, Distributing, Sales, and Usages of certain plastic items will be completely prohibited through out the country of India & these will be implemented in different phases . So, these comes under the Pastic Waste Management Amendment Rules 2021- which is passed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change [MOEFCC]. It has been naticed that the plastic items which are being banned comes under the category of low utility and high usage.
WHAT ARE THE ITEMS THAT ARE BANNED ?
the first phase will include –
- Hear buds with plastic sticks
- Plastic sticks which are usually used in balloons
- Plastic flags
- Candy sticks
- Ice cream sticks etc.,
This phase also include something known as Polystyrene which is popularly called as Thermocol for decoration.
So, the next phase will include –
- Plastic plates
- Plastic cups
- And, Cutlery such as folks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, cards, cigarette packets, plastic of PVC Bannaers which are less than 100 Microns and stirrers.
So, these are all the plastic items that are to be banned in phases from July 1st 2022.
WHY THIS PLASTIC BAN IS HIGHLY NECESSARY IN INDIA RIGHT NOW ?
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, India produces over 25,000 Tones i.e., 25,000,000kg of plastic waste every single day and that contributes to 5 to 6 % of the total solid waste that is generated in the country.
Plastic production has more than doubled over the last 5 years a lot.
I think these are enough reasons to know that this is highly highly necessary right now.
IS THIS A GOOD MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT
It is indeed a necessary step to curb plastic pollution which is highly prevalent in our country. But I would definitely liked it better if they include it a few more extremely common single-use-plastic items like the single-use-disposable water bottles, chips packets, multi-layer-plastics [MLP] and so on.
But I’m definitely happy that they have banned every thing from manufacturing to selling of all these products that are included in the lists now.
But I do hope that this is just a start and more and more single-use-plastic items will be added to the list in the future too.
WILL THIS PLASTIC BAN BE IMPLEMENTED ?
As according to the circular that was published by the ministry of environment forest, and climate change in March of 2022- they have listed all the states along with their state policies on plastic ban. So, according to this circular except for
All the other states have already established complete ban on single-use plastics.
And yet, I see so many of these single-use- plastics being used in Bangalore and several other cities. And that is exactly why lack a certain amount of trust on implementation. But, I,m honestly hoping for the very very best.
So, the circulars and notifications that have been shared by the Government and all the information that I have used to come up with this article.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES THAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF PLASTIC PRODUCTS THAT ARE BEING BANNED
Bamboo ear buds- which are becoming extremely popular overtime
Strings for balloons
Wooden sticks for flags [Wooden sticks of twigs for flags]
Wooden / usable sticks for candy / ice creams
Flora Foam – which is being developed using wasted
Temple flowers and even honey comb paper- instead of Thermocol,
Steel plates/ steel spoons/ steel glasses/ steel forks/ steel spoons/ steel knives bamboo/ steel straws
Recycled paper Invitation cards/ E-card
recycled paper [ reused paper / reused newspaper]- for packing of sweet packets
Cigarette Packets- I feel does not need any plastic lining at all.
Then comes, Cloth banners / and metal stirrers- can be reused over and over again.
So, these are all great alternatives that each of us can start using now, and hopefully it will become the norm in the coming years.
IS THRE ANY DOWNSIDE TO THIS PLASTIC BAN
Yes, there is always going to be an immediate switch to paper / wooden alternatives especially by businesses.
Which is almost inevitable and that is going to lead to an increase in deforestation in the coming years.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT ?
If you are a business I would recommend you to switch to re-usable alternatives instead of disposable ones, and as a customer please do carry your own re-usable items whenever you go out.
Say for example, you are going for a cup of tea you know that the chances of you getting the tea in paper cups is highly lightly, so instead take your own glass and request for the tea in that glass and you can always request to businesses to try and switch to re-usable alternatives, because at the end, It is our demand that leads to the changes that these business make and these are simple ways in which you can make changes and that will have an impact in the long run.
In conclusion I would say, we as a citizens can make this ban a success, if we all understand its sources correctly. To make this ban a successful one, all we have to do is, we need to hold the Government / Businesses and even citizens a countable.
So, if your’ friends / family who are still using single use plastic items for say, Parties, Weddings , (or) so.., let them know about this plastic ban and even inform them about the alternatives that are available for their use.
And you come across businesses that are repeatedly taking use of these single-use-plastic-items still, then please make sure that you let them know about this problem and if they don’t change their ways, please do call them out, whether it’s offline / online please do it.
And also give them a fare warning that you will take it to the higher authorities.
If the Government is the one that is not implementing these bans properly, please make sure that you write to / talk to your local MLA / (or) your ward member to let them know that the ban is not being thoroughly implemented, and I know it might seem very very tiring and it might even seem pointless to you at most points. But let me tel you- It is because of conscious citizens like you & me, that these changes are finely being implemented in the first place.
In really, we cannot eliminate plastic use from our day-to-day activities. However, we should not allow plastic to reach the soil or water. The government should restrict plastic production and encourage recycling through appropriate policies. The ‘Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016’ need to be strictly followed.
We clean our house and get rid of all the waste, thinking we are working towards clean India Mission but cleaning is just a visible removal of the waste of your house and sending it to some other place likewise., So, let us try & do our very best to make this ban a success one plus make it happen really.
Author: Asfiya Anjum