Kochi: The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change has issued guidelines to chief secretaries of states and administrators of Union territories on enforcing ban on single use plastic ban.
The notice, issued by MoEFCC secretary C.K. Mishra, lists carry bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery among products will come under the definition of single use plastic category.
However, certain single-use products like PET bottles used for beverages including water may not require prohibitive action and will come under the ambit of recycling channels under extended producer responsibility.
All government and subordinate offices should be declared single-use plastic free. Use of plastic products like cutlery like spoons, bowls, cups, containers, PET water bottles, plastic trays, folders artificial flowers, banners, flags, flower pots and any other plastic materials for which alternative exists has to be totally banned in offices. Private sector should also encouraged to give up plastic voluntarily.
Regarding the multi-layered packaging (MLP), the notice said replacement technologies are still not available to the manufacturers of products which use such packaging. Hence, it is not feasible to phase-out or ban MLP now.
The governments and UTs have to identify a list of products which need to be targeted so that there is no ambiguity, specifies the letter.
Meanwhile, the MoEFCC is now formulating a national framework for implementing Extended Producer Responsibility. Under this, modalities will be fixed for producers/brand owners and importers of plastic products for implementing the EPR framework in consonance with governments, local bodies, PCBs and other stakeholders.
According to the data with the ministry, 24 out of the 29 states and six of seven UTs have already introduced regulations, based on Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, for partial or total ban on plastic carry bags and other single-use products. Five states have also introduced legislation for solid waste management with specific rules for plastic carry bags....