The measure seemed too disruptive for various industries. The use of single use plastic has become one of the biggest sources of pollution, adding to landfills, contaminating food chains and filling up ocean beds. The government has not defined single use plastic in clear terms though experts say anything below 50 microns is included in this category.
On World Environment Day 2018, then Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had announced that single use plastics would be phased out by 2020. Later, that deadline was revised to 2022. The plan to ban six items - plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets - was part of this campaign. Now, following the retraction of its plan to ban single use plastic, the government intends to strictly enforce the existing rules pertaining to plastic use.
The government has been toying with the idea of banning single use plastic for a long time. However, it always seems to stop short of imposing a complete ban. Industry bodies like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) had raised major concerns over the proposed ban. A recent study by FICCI noted, “A ban on single use plastics would have multi-factoral effects on industry.”
Economics of plastic industry
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