Single-use plastic ban to be implemented by government in phases: Report

While the country is bracing up for single-use plastic ban, now reports have surfaced saying that the ban will be carried out in several phases, with officials ruling out an outright ban, reported the Hindustan Times.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2018 World Environment Day pledge to rid India of single-use plastic was a bold move. India subsequently pushed for a global resolution under the aegis of the United Nations to commit all countries phase out single-use plastic by 2030. According to Hindustan Times, a national policy on single-use plastics currently being put together is proving to be a humongous task involving inputs from several ministries, led by the consumer affairs ministry. Currently, consultations are underway with plastic industry, while technical inputs have also been sought from environmental experts and economists. Officials are preparing to release the contours of the policy by October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

An official told the leading daily, “It will most likely be a phase-wise plan. Single-use plastics are not all of one type or one standard. Some are less polluting than others, while some leave the worst impact.”

In his Independence Day speech, the Prime-Minister Shri Narendra Modi, urged all citizens and government agencies to take the 'first big step' towards scraping single-use plastic by October 2. Around 50% of single-use plastic products end up in the ocean harming the marine life and entering the human food chain.

The government plans to ban these six items to reduce the 14 million tons of annual consumption in India by 5-10%. Penalties for the violation of the ban will take effect after 6 months to provide people with ample time to adopt other alternatives. The government also plans to push for use of only recyclable plastic and will also ask E-commerce companies to cut back on the use of plastic. The plastic used by E-commerce companies for packaging amounts to 40% of India's annual consumption.

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