Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

India Set to Ban 6 Single-Use Plastics on Gandhi's Birthday

Popular
India Set to Ban 6 Single-Use Plastics on Gandhi's Birthday
Man lying on plastic infested coast of Villa El Salvador near Lima, Peru in May. Jordan Beltran / Unsplash

The government of India is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws on October 2, officials announced, in its most sweeping measure yet to eradicate single-use plastics from cities and villages that have ranked among the world's most polluted.


The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage, and import.

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, is set to launch the campaign with a ban on as many as six items on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, officials said.

These include plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets, said the officials, who asked not to be identified, in line with government policy.

"The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage and import of such items," an official said.

In an Independence Day speech on August 15, Prime Minister Modi had urged people and government agencies to "take the first big step" on October 2 towards freeing the country of single-use plastic.

The ban will shave 5-10 percent from India's annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic.

The ban on the first six items of single-use plastics is expected to shave 5 to 10 percent from India's annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic, the official said.

He added, penalties for violations of the ban will probably take effect after an initial six-month period to allow people time to adopt alternatives. Some states have already outlawed polythene bags, according to Reuters.

The government also plans tougher environmental standards for plastic products and will insist on the use of recyclable plastic only, the official said.

It will also ask e-commerce companies to cut back on plastic packaging that makes up nearly 40 percent of the country's annual plastic consumption, the officials said.

Cheap smartphones and a surge in the number of internet users have boosted orders for e-commerce companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc's Flipkart, which wrap their wares — from books and medicines to cigarettes and cosmetics — in plastic, pushing up consumption.

The world is waking up to the plastic mess we are creating.

Earlier this year the European Union announced plans to ban single-use plastic items such as straws, forks, knives and cotton buds by 2021.

And elsewhere in Asia, China's commercial hub of Shanghai is gradually reining in use of single-use plastics in catering, and its island province of Hainan has already vowed to completely eliminate single-use plastic by 2025.

Reposted with permission from our media associate BrightVibes.


Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
Trending
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less