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India's Plastic Ban Was Nothing But Just A Joke

India's Plastic Ban is a joke

GoingZero identified banned single-use plastic goods in every city three months after India banned them to reduce waste. While retailers expressed frustration at the lack of alternatives to these plastic products, analysts have noted that the prohibition affects the most needy but frees international firms.

The July 1 ban on single-use plastic appears to have mostly gone unenforced. Most places sell and utilise plastic straws and cutlery. In his 2019 Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the phaseout of these low-utility, high-littering items. However, the necessary follow-up has not occurred. Even in states with orders banning the manufacture, distribution, and use of these things, they are not implemented. Worse, extended producer duty to ensure good management of plastic products till the end of their functional life has failed due to ineffective monitoring.

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India is the fifth greatest generator of plastic waste in the world. In his 2019 Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to ban single-use plastic. India prohibited single-use plastic straws on July 1, 2022. The purpose of the prohibition is to curb plastic pollution, since single-use plastic affects land and aquatic ecosystems.

Plastic Impact On Human


By October 1, three months after the ban, little had changed. In Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, GoingZero uncovered multiple banned plastic goods in markets, restaurants, and other public areas. Vendors claimed that there has neither been any punitive action nor any warning to discontinue using these products, and that in reality, these products are accessible wholesale as usual.

The restriction was first criticised for encompassing too little plastic garbage. The industry estimates that 2%–3% of India's plastic waste comes from banned single-use plastic products.

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Experts add that India has not prohibited all single-use plastic. They claim that the prohibition is skewed towards the smallest section of the plastic business, which is the one that requires the biggest hand holding in order to shift away from single-use plastic. Experts argue India should hold big companies liable for plastic pollution.

India's Plastic Waste

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and others calculated that the globe created 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic from 1950 to 2015. 6.3 billion metric tonnes—80%—is plastic garbage.

Recycled plastic trash is only 9%. Most plastic trash is in landfills or oceans. India piloted a single-use plastic pollution resolution at the 4th UN Environment Assembly in 2019.

The prohibition took effect a year after India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules in August 2021. Ear buds with plastic sticks, balloon sticks, flag sticks, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery like forks, spoons, and knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packing film around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, and stirrers were banned in India on July 1, 2022.

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From December 31, 2022, carry bags up to 120 microns will be banned, joining those under 75 millimetres. Plastic gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala sachets are banned.

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and others calculated that the globe created 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic from 1950 to 2015. 6.3 billion metric tonnes—80%—is plastic garbage.

Recycled plastic trash is only 9%. Most plastic trash is in landfills or oceans. India piloted a single-use plastic pollution resolution at the 4th UN Environment Assembly in 2019.

The prohibition took effect a year after India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules in August 2021. Ear buds with plastic sticks, balloon sticks, flag sticks, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery like forks, spoons, and knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packing film around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, and stirrers were banned in India on July 1, 2022.

From December 31, 2022, carry bags up to 120 microns will be banned, joining those under 75 millimetres. Plastic gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala sachets are banned.

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35 states and Union territories reported 3.5 million tonnes of plastic production in 2020-21. Tamil Nadu (12%), Punjab (12%), and Maharashtra (13%). India recycles 1.56 million tonnes per year, half of the plastic produced. Extended Producer Responsibility requires brands to recycle 800,000 tonnes annually (EPR).

As mentioned, 2-3% of plastic produced is now-banned single-use plastic. Even if the prohibition worked, plastic trash generation would be tiny.

The prohibition has failed, even sub optimally. Southern Indian cities had little single-use plastic complaints on the CPCB's smartphone app, SUP-CPCB. Delhi had the most complaints, 605, however only 378 were resolved as of September 27, 2022. 

So what do you think? What should be the final solution to this?

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