Govt says single use plastic ban implementation would be strict, activists skeptical
The Centre on Tuesday claimed that the ban on single use plastic (SUP) from July 1 would be implemented strictly across India by setting up state and national level control rooms, along with border points to check inter-state movement etc.
 
However, with punitive action delegated to state pollution control boards (SPCBs), urban and rural local bodies, activists are skeptical about the ban.
 
The government declared that for effective enforcement of the ban on identified SUP items from July 1, national and state level control rooms will be set up and special enforcement teams will be formed for checking illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned single use plastic items.
 
"States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border checkpoints to stop inter-state movement of any banned single use plastic items," the government said.
 
Day-to-day usage single use plastic items in 14 categories -- such as plastic sticks that are used in ear buds, balloons, candy, ice-cream; cutlery items such as plates, cups , glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays; packaging/wrapping films such as that used for sweet box, invitation cards, cigarette packets, and other items such as plastic flags, PVC banners of less than 100 microns, and polystyrene for decoration -- have been banned by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with effect from July 1.
 
The minimum specified thickness for polythene carry bags was 75 micron already applicable from September 2021, but it would be 120 microns from December 2022.
 
The government claims there would be a total ban on manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified SUP items that have low utility and high littering potential all across the country.
 
"This is an important step in the fight against pollution. With the SUP ban, we are looking at getting rid of items that have low utility, have high littering potential and, equally, availability of alternatives," Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav told mediapersons.
 
However, when it comes to punitive action, the Ministry said it is the age-old Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 - popular as the EP Act - under which action would be taken.
 
"The action would be taken under the provisions of EP Act. Then, there are guidelines by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Along with this, there are multiple municipal corporations that have changed their bylaws to incorporate punishment," Central Pollution Control Board chairperson Tanmay Kumar told mediapersons.
 
As per data collected from all state pollution control boards and pollution control committees (SPCBs/PCCS), the plastic waste generation during 2020-21 was approximately 41,26,997 tonnes, making it almost 3 kg per year per capita.
 
However, activists are skeptical given the track record of implementation of the EP Act across India.
 
"Forget small items such as candy sticks or polythene, the pollution control agencies have spectacularly failed to take any punitive actions against big pollutants, either dumping industrial effluents in the rivers and water bodies or local bodies sending in sewage. It is the same SPCBs/PCCs and their paraphernalia that have failed. How is this ban going to be different," asked Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network for Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP).
 
"Look at the pitiable conditions of our water bodies and rivers. It is the failure of this existing mechanism that has led to this condition."
 
Activist-lawyer and a regular at the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Rahul Chaudhary, pointed out: "Whenever there is a hearing/case about pollution, the first reason that the CPCB and SPCBs give is the lack of manpower. These kinds of rules about plastic ban in various formats have been around since 2003. But you have not been able to plug the gaps in implementation till date. What will you do this time?"
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
Comments
Agnipath Scheme: Generating More Heat Than Light?
Major Gen SG Vombatkere (The Leaflet) 29 June 2022
Agnipath 2022 is the latest of schemes with large-scale, long-term national implications, pushed into implementation without discussion or consultation in Parliament.
 
——————
 
The Tour of Duty scheme of recruitment...
14 People Died in Residential Building Crash in Mumbai; 13 Injured
IANS 28 June 2022
The toll in the Mumbai building crash has risen to 14 and at least 13 others, including a woman, were injured, the BMC (brihanmumbai municipal corporation) disaster control said on Tuesday.
 
According to officials, the...
Pallonji Mistry, father of Cyrus Mistry, passes away at 93
IANS 28 June 2022
Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, the billionaire realtor and industrialist, and Chairman Emeritus of the venerable Shapoorji Pallonji Group, passed away at his home here late last night, official sources said here on...
Governors as Chancellors of Universities: Behind the Legislative Pushback
Shaileshwar Yadav  and  Aditya Tripathi (The Leaflet) 28 June 2022
The Supreme Court once interpreted the role of the Governors as a ‘functional euphemism’, acting promptly and only on the advice of council of ministers. It is inevitable that when some of them, as Chancellors of universities,...
Free Helpline
Legal Credit
Feedback