Single-use plastic – Today Current Affairs
- Recently, the central government has prepared a list of single-use plastic items that will be banned from July 1, 2022.
- The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of notified single-use plastics, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, will be prohibited with effect from July 1, 2022.
Today Current Affairs
Single use plastic
- It refers to plastic items that are used once and are thrown away.
Highest Shares of Manufactured and Used Plastics : The Hindu Analysis
- Single-use plastic products such as plastic bags, straws, coffee bags, soda and water bottles, and plastics used mostly for food packaging.
One-third of the plastic produced worldwide is : The Hindu Analysis
- According to a 2021 report by the Minderoo Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organisation, single-use plastics account for a third of global production, of which 98% is made up of fossil fuels.
Plastic is mostly discarded : The Hindu Analysis
- Single-use plastics are responsible for most of the 130 million metric tons of plastic waste globally in 2019, all of which is burned, landfilled or released directly into the environment.
Contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions : The Hindu Analysis
- On the current trajectory of production, it is estimated that single-use plastics could be responsible for 5-10% of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
Data for India : The Hindu Analysis
- The report found that India is among the top 100 countries producing single-use plastic waste – rank 94 (the top three are Singapore, Australia and Oman).
- With domestic production of 11.8 million MT annually and imports of 2.9 MMT, India’s net production of single use plastic waste is 5.6 MMT and per capita production is 4 kg.
Selection Basis : The Hindu Analysis
- The selection of the first set of single-use plastic items to ban was based on the difficulty of collection and their recycling.
- When plastic is present in the environment for a long time and does not decompose, it turns into microplastic. After that first it enters our food sources and then human body, and it is extremely harmful.
- The largest share of single-use plastics is in packaging, 95% belonging to this category are used in everything from toothpaste to shaving cream and frozen food.
- The selected items are of low value and low turnover and are not likely to have a major economic impact.
Procedure for enforcement of sanctions:
By monitoring : The Hindu Analysis
- The ban will be monitored from the Center by the CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) who will regularly report to the Centre.
Issued Guidelines : The Hindu Analysis
- Directives have been issued at the national, state and local levels – for example all petrochemical industries have been asked not to supply raw materials to industries engaged in prohibited items.
- Directions have been issued to SPCBs and Pollution Control Committees to modify or cancel consents issued under the Air/Water Act to industries engaged in single-use plastic items.
Promotion of compostable and biodegradable plastics : The Hindu Analysis
- CPCB issues one-time certificates to 200 manufacturers of compostable plastics and BIS passed standards for biodegradable plastics.
Punishment : The Hindu Analysis
- Violators of the ban can be punished under the Environment Protection Act 1986 – which allows for imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both.
- Violators may also be asked by the APCB to pay environmental damage compensation.
- There are municipal laws on plastic waste, their own penal codes.
Efforts by other countries to tackle single-use plastics:
Signing the Resolution : The Hindu Analysis
- In the year 2022 at the United Nations Environment Assembly, 124 countries, including India, signed a resolution to draft an agreement to end plastic pollution to address the full life of plastics from production to disposal for future signatories will be made legally binding.
- As of July 2019, 68 countries have banned plastic bags with varying degrees of enforcement.
Countries that have banned plastics:
Bangladesh : The Hindu Analysis
- Bangladesh became the first country to ban thin plastic bags in the year 2002.
New Zealand : The Hindu Analysis
- New Zealand became the latest country to ban plastic bags in July 2019.
China : The Hindu Analysis
- China issued a ban on plastic bags in the year 2020 with a phased implementation.
America : The Hindu Analysis
- Eight states in the US have banned single-use plastic bags, beginning with California in 2014. Seattle became the first major US city to ban plastic straws in the year 2018.
The European Union : The Hindu Analysis
- Directive on single-use plastics came into effect in the European Union in July 2021.
- This directive bans certain single-use plastics for which alternatives are available; Single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds cannot be placed on the markets of EU member states.
- The same measure applies to cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.