Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India issued notification 11841/2021/UPC-II-HO for Phasing out Single use Plastic. This is in line with the recent Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Amendment Rules, 2021, notified by MoEF&CC in August 2021, which prohibited identified single use plastic items by 2022.
The notification gives an outline of single use items that are restricted as per PWM Amendment Rules, alternatives to be used instead of plastic and penalties to be imposed on people who use it.
Single use articles are restricted under PWM Amendment Rules,2021
- Polystyrene or thermocol used for decoration
- packing films used around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks,
- ice-cream sticks
- plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping ,stirrers
- plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron
CPCB gives a list of articles that can be used in place of single use plastic like:
- Cotton bags:
Cotton bags can be used in place of plastic bags. Clothing made from organic cotton, wool, hemp, or bamboo is sustainable and don’t shed plastic fibers when used
Plastic in items like tableware and drinking straws can be replaced with bamboo which is a fast growing renewable resource. Other benefits of using bamboo are that its lightweight, durable, and compostable.
- Wooden items:
Instead of using plastic for household items like cleaning brushes, kitchen utensils, and cutting boards, it is recommended to use a renewable resource such as wood from sustainably-managed forests.
- Pottery and Other Ceramics:
pottery and other fired ceramics are both good for food storage and tableware. It offers a stable, waterproof alternative. Coating over the pottery body should be non-toxic.
- Compostable Plastics:
In order to encourage the use of compostable plastics in place of plastics, CPCB has prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for issuing certificate to the manufacturers and seller of compostable plastics. Compostable plastics in market can be used on compostable bin liners, paper coating, T-shirt Retail Bags, Cling wrap, Mulch Films, Food packaging, netting, thermoforming, etc.
“Compostable plastics” mean plastic that undergoes degradation by biological processes during composting to yield carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials, excluding conventional petro-based plastics, and does not leave visible, distinguishable or toxic residue.
Spot fine of Rs 500 and Rs 5000 will be imposed on waste generators and institutional waste generators respectively.
At producer level the fine will be imposed by The State Pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committee on the use of Single Use Plastic. At retailer/seller or user level, local bodies have the authority to impose fine. Fines will be imposed in accordance with Guidelines for Environmental Compensation (EC) assessment prepared by CPCB.
In order to phase out single use plastic CPCB directs people to create awareness through friends, family and by speaking to the City Council about the same.
Amisha Bhasin, Intern at S.S. Rana & Co. has assisted in research of this article.