Ban imposed on single use plastic items
As the ban on certain single-use plastic (SUP) items came into effect from Friday, state governments launched an enforcement drive to identify and shut down units engaged in the production, distribution, stocking and sale of such items, officials said. is introduced.
While several manufacturers have said that they are not ready to implement the ban due to lack of alternatives, Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav on Tuesday said the government has given the industry and general public enough time to prepare for the ban on SUP items. Have given. And everyone’s cooperation is expected in implementing it from July 1.
Union environment ministry officials said violation of the ban would invite punitive action, including fine or jail term or both, under section 15 of the Environment Protection Act (EPA) and bye-laws of the municipal corporations concerned.
He said that to effectively enforce the ban, national and state level control rooms have been set up and special enforcement teams have been constituted to check illegal manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of banned SUP items. .
States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border posts to prevent interstate movement of any banned SUP items. The Central Pollution Control Board has also launched a grievance redressal application to empower citizens to help curb the use of plastic.
Officials said there is no ban on plastic used for packaging in the FMCG sector, but it will be covered under the Extended Manufacturer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines. EPR is the responsibility of a manufacturer to ensure environmentally friendly management of the product till the end of its life. According to CPCB, India generates about 2.4 lakh tonnes of SUP per year. The SUP production per capita is 0.18 kg per year.
On August 12 last year, the ministry had issued a notification prohibiting the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified SUP items including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene with effect from July 1, 2022.
Identified SUP items include earbuds, plastic sticks for balloons, flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol), plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packaging film. , invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners and stirrers of less than 100 microns.
In Delhi, the Revenue Department and Delhi Pollution Control Committee have constituted 33 and 15 teams respectively to enforce the ban. Delhi generates 1,060 tonnes of plastic waste every day. Single-use plastic is estimated to account for 5.6 per cent (or 56 kg per metric ton) of total solid waste in the capital.
Officials of the Delhi Environment Department said that the units engaged in manufacturing, importing, stocking, distribution, sale and use of SUP items and other prohibited activities under the Plastic Waste Management Rules will be shut down immediately.
A senior official said that punitive action would also be taken against common people violating the ban. The official said the DPCC would ensure compliance of the ban in containment zones and MCD and other local bodies would be responsible for its implementation in the informal sector. ,
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi and other urban local bodies will take action against the defaulting entities as per their bye-laws while the revenue department will take action under the Environment Protection Act.
Officials said the environment department here will monitor the implementation of the ban through a “green war room”, which was set up in October 2020 to monitor air pollution levels and address related complaints.
The Green Delhi application has also been updated for registering complaints regarding violation of restrictions on SUP items. The Delhi government has also decided to conduct a study to find out the possible impediments in the elimination of SUP items.
The DPCC has also asked Shriram Institute of Industrial Research to conduct a survey to identify the litter hotspots in the city and quantify the production of plastic waste.