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Law Against Plastic Pollution In India

Plastic pollution isn’t just a problem that exists in India, it is a problem that we all are dealing with on a global stage. But it is good to see that India, as a nation, is putting efforts to keep plastic pollution to the bare minimum. And it is the effort that counts. That is reflected in the laws and awareness that the people of India now have. Here, we are about to take a good look at the laws against plastic pollution in India. So, keep on reading to get to know this in a better way.

Plastic Pollution

What Is The Backstory Of This Plastic Pollution Issue?

For many years now, India has had a lot of trouble with plastic trash. And it is no hidden secret that every year, tons of plastic trash is dumped, which crowds landfills and makes rivers and seas dirty. Early efforts to clean up this mess didn’t work, and the issue only got worse, which we all know as this big plastic pollution issue in the country right now. Then came the year 2016, and the Plastic Waste Management Rules came out. The goal of these rules was to get things under control by putting producers in charge of the waste their goods make. This is called Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR for short.

What Were The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016?

You see, within this law, it was clearly stated that it is an important thing to handle plastic waste, or else, we’ll be dealing with the consequences of it later on. So yes, they made it possible for better ways to deal with trash. And because of the whole EPR thing, people who make, import or own brands were responsible for collecting and recycling the plastic waste that came from their goods. In other words, you need to take care of what you make, that’s all.

Amendments to Plastic Waste Management Rules

Now, plastic waste management rules and regulations aren’t just a time solution, there of course is a need for continuous updates, and that’s what we have seen over the years. There have been a few instances where this law has been amended. Let’s have a look:

1. Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021

The changes made in 2021 were all about getting rid of single-use plastics by 2022. Things like plastic straws, cutlery, and some types of wrapping were not allowed to be made or used because of the laid-out rules. Also, the minimum width of plastic carry bags was raised so that they could be used more than once. What was the prime goal? Well, that was just to cut down on plastic waste and push for eco-friendly options.

2. Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2024

The changes made in 2024 went even further. These new rules explained what recyclable plastics are and made it harder to use them. In some places, these plastics break down spontaneously, leaving behind harmless microplastics. Also, the changes made it clearer what an importer or manufacturer is, so more businesses are now subject to the rule. To deal with these tiny but dangerous bits, new rules for handling microplastics were also made public.

What Was The Ban on Single-Use Plastics All About?

See, if you follow the news, then you may know that it was big news in India when the government decided to ban all single-use plastics across the country on July 1, 2022. This included straws, cellphones, and plastic plates and cups. It was clear what the goal was: lessen the plastic trash that is killing our earth, you know? Even though some industries were against it, the government stood strong because they knew they had to act quickly to stop plastic pollution.

Though, this has not been an easy task to follow these rules. There are Special Task Forces in both the national and state governments to make sure that rules are followed, but problems still exist, and we all know it. There are gaps in the collection and recycling of plastic trash because many businesses haven’t registered their EPR plans or met their goals. Informal recyclers, like rag pickers, are very important, but they often work outside of the legal system, which makes things even more difficult.

India on the World Stage

India’s fight against plastic waste is part of a bigger effort around the world, and sure, the country has taken part in international efforts and agreements to cut down on plastic waste. As an example, India was very important in the UN’s decision about single-use plastics. All in all, India is more determined than ever to fight plastic waste thanks to partnerships with countries like France. For everyone to work together to solve this environmental problem, these global relationships are very important, and the general public must understand that.

So, What’s Next?

See, as Indian citizens, we all know that India is likely to keep making its rules and laws stricter in the future to fight plastic waste. And that’s a good thing for us all. If things change in the future, they might focus on making it easier to recycle plastics and reducing the amount of plastic that can’t be recycled even more. This is the only way forward now if we truly want to keep this plastic pollution at the bare minimum. And it will only be done if we put in collective efforts. Remember, plastic pollution isn’t an issue that only the government of India can solve, nah, it is our responsibility as well to contribute to the fullest.


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