Issue of Single Use Plastic Ban
Why in News?
Recently, it was stated by the Union Minister, Prakash Javadekar that there is no imminent ban on the use of Single Use Plastic (SUP).
- SUPs mainly refer to plastic bags, water bottles, cups and straws that are believed to contribute significantly to India’s plastic waste problem.
- According to the definition given by United Nations, SUPs are the products that are commonly used for plastic packaging and includes items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include grocery bags, food packaging products, containers, cutlery etc.
Issues related to SUPs
- Although a number of Indian states have laws in place against the use of SUPs but they aren’t followed properly, largely due to the cost of collecting and ensuring that the waste plastics are recycled at appropriate facilities.
- A resolution was moved by India at the United Nations Environment Assembly to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2025. But it was defeated by the final text of the commitment which only committed to the “significantly reduced use” of SUPs by 2030.
- India has governed a long-standing commitment to eliminate the single-use plastics by 2022.
- It was speculated that India is planning to ban the use of SUPs from October 2 this year, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The Government officials have emphasised on the fact that there will be dedicated attempt by the government to increase its efforts to limit and eliminate the use and consumption of SUPs.
- Several states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are working towards enforcing its previous commitments to limit the use of plastic bags and similar disposables.
The need of the hour is to spread awareness among the people about the concerns of excessive plastic use and suggest alternatives to it. Targeted campaigns, rallies and different modes of social media needs to be out into use to spread the message. While there exists no one-stop solution to the menace but with concerted and joint efforts, the palpable problems of plastic use can be dealt off significantly.