India

Single Use Plastic Ban By June 30: Govt Issues Advisory To States, UTs

By
OB Bureau

New Delhi: The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has issued an advisory for states and UTs for taking up a range of activities to ensure the ban of single use plastic (SUP) by June 30.

The campaigns will be launched on June 5 to mark World Environment Day.

These activities include large-scale cleaning and plogging drives, with special emphasis on plastic waste collection, as well as large-scale tree plantation drives, with participation of students, voluntary organizations, self-help groups, local NGOs/CSOs, NSS and NCC cadets, RWAs, market associations, corporate entities, etc.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban 2.0, every Urban Local Body (ULB) is required to adopt 100% source segregation of waste, and have access to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for sorting dry waste (including plastic waste) into further fractions for recycling and/or processing into value-added products, thereby reducing to a minimum the amount of plastic and dry waste ending up in dumpsites or waterbodies.

Till date, 2,591 ULBs (out of 4,704) have reported SUP ban notification as per the directions of Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

States and UTs will have to ensure the remaining 2,113 ULBs are notified about the ban, while ULBs have been asked to identify SUP ‘hotspots’ and eliminate them, by forming special enforcement squads, conducting surprise inspections and imposing heavy fines and penalties on defaulters.

The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than seventy-five microns (0.075 mm in thickness) has already been banned with effect from September 30, 2021 as per Plastic Waste Management (Amended) Rules, 2021.

Complementary initiatives will be taken up and ULBs have to identify SUP-alternatives (such as cloth/jute/plastic bags, degradable cutleries, etc.) which are readily available in the market and create awareness about such alternatives among citizens.

Corporate entities which deal with bottled drinks may be requested to set up Bottle Banks, where users can get paid for dropping off Pet bottles), and also set up subsidized reusable plastic bottle booths at various locations.

ULBs may also establish thaila (bag)/bartan (utensils) kiosks or bhandars to provide citizens with alternatives to SUP, especially for use in public meetings and festivals, thereby helping to reduce SUP consumption.

The advisory stresses on large-scale people participation, where citizen categories have to be identified and engaged with to carry forward the message of SUP ban and enforcement.

All initiatives have to be recorded by states/UTs and ULBs through a detailed documentation and reporting for monitoring at highest levels.

OB Bureau

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