Fight against plastic pollution


The Central Pollution Control Board has reported that 22 states have announced bans on single-use plastics in the past, but this has had little impact on the menace of microplastics choking wetlands and waterways and drifting into the oceans. So far, 22 states and union territories have joined the fight to beat plastic pollution and have announced a ban on single-use plastics such as carry bags, cups, plates, cutlery, straws, and thermocol products. India has also won global praise for its "Beat Plastic Pollution" resolution announced on World Environ-ment Day last year, under which it has pledged to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. Directives have been issued at the national, state, and local levels - for example, to all petrochemical industries - not to supply raw materials to industries engaged in the banned items. India recently released a draft resolution to reduce plastic pollution a month ahead of the fifth UN Environment Assembly to be held in Nairobi. Unlike drafts submitted by some other countries, India's framework proposed a voluntary approach rather than being legally binding. In 2019, the central government came up with a multi-ministerial plan to discourage the use of single-use plastics across the country, to make India free of single-use plastics by 2022. Currently, the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of carry bags and plastic sheets of less than the 50-micron thickness in the country. Environment Ministry has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021. These rules ban specific single-use plastic items that have "low utility and high litter potential" by 2022. The permitted thickness of plastic bags, currently 50 microns, will be increased to 75 microns from September 30, 2021, and 120 microns from December 31, 2022.
Those violating the ban can be punished under the Environment Protection Act 1986- which allows imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both. Violators may also be asked to pay environmental damage compensation. The virtue of a legally binding global treaty on plastics that applies a uniform set of laws to all countries has led to a worldwide cumulative effort to combat plastic pollution. As consumers, we must ensure that all plastic waste coming out of our homes is segregated and does not get contaminated with food waste. Managing plastic waste requires effective knowledge, not only among those who produce plastic but also among those who handle it. The brand owner and manufacturer should try to understand the fate of a plastic packaging material once its packaging purpose has been served. Citizens have to bring behavioral change and not litter and help in waste segregation and waste management. The pressure on producers to streamline the collection, recycling, and processing of all forms of plastic is set to increase. Individuals and organizations should now actively remove plastic waste from their surroundings and municipal bodies should make arrangements to collect these items. Startups and industries should think of new ways of recycling plastic.

Share This Story

Comment On This Story


Photo Gallery

BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty