25.6 C
Brunei
Saturday, August 13, 2022
25.6 C
Brunei
Saturday, August 13, 2022
More
    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -

    Cups, straws, spoons: India starts small on plastic ban

    NEW DELHI (AP) – India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products yesterday as part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people.

    For the first stage, it has identified 19 plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter and makes it illegal to produce, import, stock, distribute or sell them. These items range from plastic cups and straws to ice cream sticks. Some disposable plastic bags will also be phased out and replaced with thicker ones.

    Thousands of other plastic products – like bottles for water or soda or bags of chips – aren’t covered by the ban. But the federal government has set targets for manufacturers to be responsible for recycling or disposing of them after their use.

    Plastic manufacturers had appealed to the government to delay the ban, citing inflation and potential job losses. But India’s federal environment minister Bhupender Yadav said at a press briefing in New Delhi that the ban had been in the pipeline for a year.

    “Now that time is up,” he said.

    Cotton candies wrapped in plastic cover are displayed to woo customers at a weekly market in New Delhi, India. PHOTO: AP

    This isn’t the first time that India has considered a plastic ban. But previous iterations have focused on specific regions, resulting in varying degrees of success. A nationwide ban that includes not just the use of plastic, but also its production or importation was a “definite boost”, said Satyarupa Shekhar, the Asia-Pacific coordinator of the advocacy group Break Free from Plastic.

    Most plastic isn’t recycled globally and millions of tons pollute the world’s oceans, impact wildlife and turn up in drinking water. Scientists are still trying to assess the risks posed by the tiny bits of broken-down plastic, known as microplastics. In 2020, over 4.1 million metric tonnes of plastic waste was generated in India, according to its federal pollution watchdog.

    The creaky waste management system in the country’s burgeoning cities and villages means that much of this waste isn’t recycled and ends up polluting the environment. Nearly 13 million metric tonnes of plastic waste was either littered or not recycled by the South Asian nation in 2019 – the highest in the world, according to Our World in Data.

    Making plastic releases earth-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and India is home to factories that make over 243,000 metric tonnes of disposable plastic each year.

    This means that reducing the manufacture and consequent waste of plastic is crucial for India to meet its target of reducing the intensity of emissions in economic activity by 45 per cent in eight years.

    - Advertisement -
    spot_img

    Latest article

    - Advertisement -
    spot_img