Environment Ministry notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 on August 13, 2021.
- These new rules prohibit specific single-use plastic items with “low utility and high littering potential by the year 2022.
- Under it, manufacture of a range of plastic products will be banned.
- These plastic products comprise of ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, candy sticks, plastic flags, ice-cream sticks, thermocol for decoration, cups plates, cups, glasses as well as cutlery like knives, spoons, forks, trays, straws, wrapping or packing films, invitation cards and cigarette packets as well as PVC banners of less than 100 microns
- Earlier in July 2021, the environment ministry noted in Rajya Sabha that, plastic packaging waste isn’t yet covered under phase-out of single-use plastic items. Ministry noted that, phase out some categories of single use plastic will be done by 2022.
Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
- It prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, sale, distribution and use of carry bags and plastic sheets with thickness less than 50 microns in India.
- It also bans the sachets using plastic material used to store, pack or sell gutkha, tobacco and pan masala.
- To amend these rules, draft comprising of way forward was issued in March 2021.
- Following this, Ministry constituted a National Level Taskforce to take coordinated efforts in order to eliminate identified single use plastic items and effective implementation of the 2016 Rules.
India highlighted its resolution to address single-use plastic products pollution in 2019 at 4th Environment Assembly of United Nations.
- Voted that, phase out some categories of single use plastic will be done by 2022.