India bans 19 single-use plastic items to combat pollution

Posted by News Express | 2 July 2022 | 157 times

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India has imposed a ban on single-use plastics on items ranging from straws to cigarette packets to combat worsening pollution in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people.

The ban on single-use plastic items includes straws, cutlery, earbuds, packaging films, plastic sticks for balloons, candy and ice cream, and cigarette packets, among other products, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement on Friday.

For the first stage, the government has identified 19 plastic items that it said are not very useful but have a high potential to become litter and the new ban makes it illegal to produce, import, stock, distribute or sell them.

Some disposable plastic bags will also be phased out and replaced with thicker ones to encourage re-use.

Plastic manufacturers had appealed to the government to delay the ban, citing inflation and potential job losses.

India’s federal environment minister Bhupender Yadav said at a news briefing in New Delhi on Friday that the ban had been in the pipeline for a year.

“Now, that time is up,” he said.

Plastic waste has become a significant source of pollution in India, the world’s second-most populous country, and rapid economic growth has fuelled demand for goods that come with single-use plastic products, such as straws and disposable cutlery.

Thousands of other plastic products – such as plastic bottles – are not covered by the ban. But the federal government has set targets for manufacturers to be responsible for recycling or disposing of them after their use.

This is not the first time that India has considered a plastic ban. But previous iterations have focused on specific regions in the country, resulting in varying degrees of success. (Al Jazeera)

PHOTO: An Indian worker sorts used plastic bottles before sending them to be recycled in Ahmadabad, India in 2018 [File: Ajit Solanki/AP]

Source: News Express

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