New Delhi: Ahead of the total ban on single use plastic (SUP) from July 1, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued fresh standards for plastics that would be applicable for products to be used as alternatives.
Plastic straws, polythene bags, plastic sticks for candy or ice creams, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic cups, glasses and cutlery items, plastic sticks for ear buds, for balloons, wrapping films for sweet boxes or cigarettes and even PVC banners of less than 100 microns, all such and many other things that are literally used only for one time and then find its way into the dust bins, littered on roads and ultimately end up either on landfill or pollute water bodies.
During a recent event, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had said that approximately 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated across India annually.
A ministry official, on Friday, said: “The notification by the BIS, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, will help manufacturers of products to determine ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials and thereby enable them to replace their existing practices for upgraded standards.”
The July 1 ban is applicable not just for the manufacturer, but also for importers, those stocking it, or those into distribution, and also for those who sell it and ultimately, the consumer who uses it.
“The Central Pollution Control Board is in talks with all the state boards for effective implementation and most important, to raise awareness about the July 1 ban amongst the common public,” said a top officer from the Environment Ministry.
Asked if the notification has come a tad late – given the fact that the ban is less than 20 days ahead – the officer said that such notifications are issued after a whole lot of trials (for the substances for which standards are specified) and stakeholder consultations . “It means that the process was initiated much earlier and all the stakeholders are on board.”