The central government in India will ban many single-use plastics by 2022 by changing the rules on how to dispose of plastic waste.
Under the new regulations introduced by the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change, single-use plastic items that have low utility and high waste potential will be phased out and completely banned from July 1, 2022.
Targeted are: cotton swabs with plastic swabs; Plastic sticks for balloons; Flags made of plastic; Candy sticks; Ice cream sticks; Polystyrene for decoration; Food service items such as plates, cups, glasses, straws and cutlery.
The changes will also ban packaging films for candy boxes, invitation cards and cigarette packs.
In stark contrast to the laws on similar banned single-use plastic items in the European Union, the new regulations do not apply to goods made from compostable plastic.
In addition, plastic bags must have a minimum thickness of 75 micrometers from September 30th. This minimum thickness will increase to 120 micrometers by the end of 2022.
All plastic packaging waste that is not covered by these rules must be collected and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner as part of an extended manufacturer responsibility rule.
The Department has also set up a national task force that will coordinate efforts to remove single-use plastic items from the list and effectively implement plastic waste disposal regulations.
At the same time, she has launched an awareness-raising campaign that includes an all-India competition to write essays on the subject in schools.
In order to promote innovations in the development of alternatives to identified single-use plastic items and digital solutions for the disposal of plastic waste, the India Plastic Challenge Hackathon 2021 was organized for students at universities and for startups recognized as part of the Startup India initiative.