Beating plastic pollution (On plastic waste management rules)

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: Issue of Plastic waste management

Synopsis: Effective implementation of New Plastic Waste Management Amendment rules offers a solution to address plastic pollution

Context

Central government on 12th of August notified The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules which acknowledges the gravity of pollution caused by plastic articles of everyday use.

The decisions follow recommendations made by an expert group constituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals two years ago.

The Plastic Waste Rules 

Some major provision of the new rules:

  • The manufacture, sale and use of some single-use goods made with plastic, polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene, such as earbuds, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, wrapping and packing films, is prohibited from July 1 next year
  • Carry bags must be at least 75 microns thick from September 30th, 2021, and 120 microns from December 31 next year, compared to 50 microns at present.

Note: For detailed provisions of the new rules, please read the article below

Must Read: Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021
Extent of plastic pollution in India
  • India has generated 34 lakh tonnes of plastic waste in 2019-20, of which only 60% has been recycled
  • 6 of the top 100 global producers of polymers which produces large quantity of plastic waste are based in India.
  • According to CPCB report, 22 states in India have announced ban on single use plastic but, it had little impact on outcomes
Issues with plastic waste mgmt
  • With regard to policy- India’s policies on environment are divergent, they are intentionally good but poor on outcomes
  • With regard to implementation by state- lack of strong will from state governments to replace municipal contracts
  • With regard to recycling– because of lack of segregation, considerable amounts of plastic waste cannot be recycled
  • Patchy regulation- This led to prohibition on movement of plastic waste to other states which have recycling capacity.

Conclusion: The international view is changing, and support for a UN Plastic Treaty is growing. The majority of G7 countries  are supportive of cleaning up the oceans through a charter in the interests of human wellbeing and environmental integrity. Now that the Centre has adopted a broad ban, further pollution must end.

Also read: Plastic pollution in India
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