Delhi produces nearly 1,140 tonnes of plastic waste daily, of which approximately 632 tonnes include single-use plastic. And that is why the Delhi government has banned single-use plastic products from 1st July 2022.
The Delhi Environment Department to ban single-use plastic has warned of strict actions against manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers, including the closure of units if they continue to keep full inventory. Under the Environment Protection Act, violators could face jail or a fine depending on the offense.
To monitor the rules, teams of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and civic bodies will visit markets. If they find any manufacturer, distributor, supplier, dealer, or seller with single-use plastic, they will get a closure notice. According to an official of the Environment Department, urban local bodies were told to modify or revoke the licenses given to such units.
The Environment Department officials are currently sending reminders to units involved in banning single-use plastic products. To enforce the ban, redevelopment and industrial areas will require inspection now and then to identify units operating without registration or consent, including those engaged in manufacturing single-use plastic.
Up till now, almost 3000 units have been surveyed in 3 redevelopment and six industrial areas. However, none were manufacturing the 19 items of single-use plastic that were banned.
Experts say that proper and efficient plastic waste disposal is essential. According to Sunita Narain, Director General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the next step is to ensure that plastic items are disposed of or recycled safely. For this, we need a three-step strategy.
First, proper collection of plastic items for disposal is necessary. Second, all plastic waste will be sent for recycling or incineration. Thirdly, plastic disposal should be environmentally friendly and should not create more pollution or health issues.
The Delhi government has announced an awareness drive to ban single-use plastic items starting from 1st July 2022. It is a three-day event that will take place from the 1st to the 3rd of July at Tyagraj Stadium, from 10:30 am onwards.
These types of awareness drives have been running for months. According to the Plastic Waste Management rule, all states and Union territories in India will conduct the commencement of the single-use plastic ban from 1st July.
The three-day event will have quiz competitions, important messages, and talks from officials on the theme of plastic and its dangerous effects. The event aims to encourage citizens’ participation who can provide valuable insights on reducing plastic use.
A Nation-Wide Ban?
Not only Delhi but the whole of India is to ban single-use plastic products ranging from cups and straws to cigarette packets. India is to ban single-use plastic from tackling the increasing pollution in the country of almost 1.4 billion people.
As mentioned before, 19 items of plastic were banned. They include plastic straws, earbuds, cutlery, packaging films, sticks for ice cream, candy, balloons, cigarette packets, and more. The Modi government announced this on 1st July 2022.
The government identified 19 different plastic products that are not useful and have a high potential to become trash. The new ban on single-use plastic makes it illegal to sell these items. Few disposable plastic bags will be reduced and replaced by thicker bags to encourage reuse.
Several plastic producers and distributors have appealed to the government to delay the ban due to inflation and potential job losses. According to India’s Federal Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav, the ban on single-use plastic has been in the pipeline for a year.
Plastic waste has become a significant source of pollution for the country. The increasing population and rapid economic growth have increased the demand for items that come with single-use plastic. Several plastic products, like plastic bottles, are not covered by the ban. However, the government has set targets for producers for recycling and disposing of plastic after its use.
This is not the first time that India has announced a plastic ban. Previous bans have focused on certain regions in India, resulting in different degrees of success.
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