India to ban single-use plastic items from July 1

In an effort to boost the environmental culture, India has decided to ban single-use plastic items starting from July 1 onwards. The ban comprises earbuds, flags, candy, ice-cream sticks, decorative thermocol, PVC banners less than 100 microns thick, stirrers, wrapping films, cups, glasses, etc. 

The decision to ban single-use plastics has been earlier announced by the Central Pollution Control Board and it asked the street vendors and general public to take necessary steps before the commencement of the single-use plastic ban in July. 

The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) member secretary S Chandrashekhar on May 14 stated that the Union government decided to ban all single-use plastics and even the state government has decided to ban the sale, production, distribution, storage, import, and use of plastic carry bags of all types regardless of their size and thickness.

On May 15, the Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai said that the city will ban single-use plastics from June 1. In Delhi, the use-and-throw pens and water bottles will be prohibited in the Secretariat followed by the prohibition of banners, posters, and food cutlery made from single-use plastic will also be banned in the Delhi Secretariat premises.

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“Without a strict rule, the country is going to reduce the repeated use of plastics. Therefore to minimize the hazardousness caused for the environment by the burning of plastics, the step to ban the single-use plastics has been taken,” said Gopal Rai. In addition, lightweight and disposable plastic items have been observed to move easily through air and water, leading to suffocation of surrounding sewage or drainage systems. 

The minister said the move would lower the sewage waste due to these plastics. He further said that 9instead of disposable water bottles and cutlery, bamboo, glass or porcelain, metal or paper cutlery will be used. Also to make posters and banners, the reusable gel, ball or ink pens will be encouraged.