The Centre’s ban on single-use plastic in the country came into effect on Friday.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 in August. They prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of several single-use plastic items.

The Centre said that it wants to curb the pollution caused by littered and uncollected plastic waste in the country.

“The adverse impacts of littered single-use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in marine environment are globally recognised,” the Centre said on Wednesday. “Addressing pollution due to single-use plastic items has become an important environmental challenge confronting all countries.”

Plastic carry bags measuring less than 75 microns were banned in September. From December 31 this year, plastic carry bags with thicknesses less than 120 microns will also be prohibited.

Control rooms and enforcement teams have been formed in every state to check if the rules are being followed.

Additionally, states and Union Territories have been asked to set up border checkpoints to prevent inter-state movement of any banned single-use plastic items.

Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that any violation of the single-use plastic ban in the national capital will invite a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or a jail term of up to five years, PTI reported.

Rai said that the Delhi government will initially issue warning notices to units found violating the ban till July 10 and thereafter punitive action will be taken against repeat offenders.

India generates approximately 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. This figure is based on the Central Pollution Control Board’s projection that 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste – equivalent to 1,030 truckloads at 25 tonnes per truck – is generated in the country every day.

Of this, 15,384 tonnes of plastic waste or nearly 60% is collected and recycled while the remaining 10,556 tonnes remains uncollected and littered in the environment, former Union minister Prakash Javadekar had told the Lok Sabha in November 2019.

List of banned items:

  • Ear buds and balloons with plastic sticks
  • Plastic flags
  • Candy sticks and ice-cream sticks
  • Polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration
  • Plastic cutlery, plates, cups, glasses and trays
  • Wrapping films for sweet boxes
  • Invitation cards
  • Cigarette packets
  • Plastic or PVC banners measuring less than 100 microns
  • Stirrers
  • Plastic bags