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Single-use plastic ban

Topics Covered:

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Single-use plastic ban

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Ban on single- use plastics- significance.

 

Context: Single-use plastic items will be banned in India from October 2, 2019.

 

What is single-use plastic?

A form of plastic that is disposable, which is only used once and then has to be thrown away or recycled.

The single-use plastic items include plastic bags, water bottles, soda bottles, straws, plastic plates, cups, most food packaging and coffee stirrers.

 

Why is it being banned?

With climate and environment becoming a rising global concern, plastic pollution and plastic waste management have become the focal point of worry.

Millions of tons of plastic is being produced every year, which is not biodegradable. Hence, the countries across the globe are adopting and implementing strategies aimed at eliminating the use of single-use plastic.

 

India’s efforts:

India has won global acclaim for its “Beat Plastic Pollution” resolve declared on World Environment Day last year, under which it pledged to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022.

 

Challenges ahead:

The ubiquitous plastic has made humans so dependent that it is virtually impossible to live without it.

The PWM Rules Amendment, 2018, omitted explicit pricing of plastic bags that had been a feature of the 2016 Rules.

Waste plastic from packaging of everything from food, cosmetics and groceries to goods delivered by online platforms remains unaddressed.

The fast moving consumer goods sector that uses large volumes of packaging, posing a higher order challenge.

Lack of adequate infrastructure for segregation and collection is the key reason for inefficient plastic waste disposal.

Small producers of plastics are facing the ban, while more organised entities covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility clause continue with business as usual.

 

Need of the hour:

  1. Promoting the use of biodegradable plastics, khadi bags, cotton bags.
  2. Incentivising collection.
  3. Start charging the producers for their waste, which will lead to recovery and recycling.

 

Sources: the Hindu.