New Delhi: Starting October 2, India is set to impose a nationwide ban on single-use plastics from cities and villages, in an attempt to revive its rank from among the world’s most polluted. Government officials on Wednesday suggested that at least 6 out all the single-use plastics will be banned from October.
As a result, there will be a strict restriction on the use of plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets, said a government official.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making efforts to scrap harmful plastics in India by 2022. Interestingly, the decision to ban the plastic items will be implemented on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, that is, October 2.
“The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage and import of such items,” the official said.
During the Independence Day speech on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted on the announcement while urging citizens and government agencies to “take the first big step” on October 2 towards freeing the country of single-use plastic.
However, the environment and housing ministries have not made any response to the decision so far.
Leading studies reveal that the growing plastic pollution, in particular, focusing on nearly 50 percent of the single-use plastic products that end up in the oceans have been killing marine life and entering the human food chain.
The initial ban on the six items of single-use plastics will clip five to 10 percent from India’s annual consumption of close to 14 million tonnes of plastic, the official said.
Several states and cities in India have already taken the step towards banning single-use plastic. The government is now taking stricter measure to improve environmental standards for plastic products. It will also ask e-commerce companies to cut down plastic packaging and use more environment-friendly materials, which can reduce up to 40 percent of the annual plastic consumption.