GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 880
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.02.2022
880. SHRI PRASUN BANERJEE:
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:
(a) the steps taken by the Government to stop the plastic pollution; and
(b) whether the Government has any policy to introduce gunny bags instead of plastic bags for storing food grains?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI ASHWINI KUMAR CHOUBEY)
(a) and (b): The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended, provide the
statutory framework for plastic waste management in an environmentally sound manner
throughout the country. The Rules prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale
and use of carry bags and plastic sheets less than fifty microns in thickness in the country.
There is complete ban on sachets using plastic material used for storing, packing or selling
gutkha, tobacco and pan masala. The Rules also provide measures for recycling of plastic
waste and its end of life disposal in an environmentally sound manner.
Considering the adverse effect on littered single use plastic items on terrestrial,
aquatic and marine ecosystems, the Ministry has notified the Plastic Waste Management
Amendment Rules, 2021, vide GSR NO. 571 (E) on 12th August 2021, in the Gazette of
India, prohibiting identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering
potential, by 1st July 2022.
As far as, plastic carry bags are concerned, the Plastic Waste Management
Amendment Rules, 2021, prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use
of plastic carry bags having thickness less than seventy five microns with effect from 30th
September, 2021, and having thickness less thanthickness of one hundred and twenty microns
with effect from the 31st December, 2022.Further, over and above the Plastic Waste
Management Rules, 2016, thirty four states/UTs have issued notifications/orders to introduce
regulations pertaining to complete or partial ban on plastic carry bags and/or identified
single-use plastic items.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the draft
Regulations on the Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging under Plastic
Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended from time to time, in the Gazette of India vide
GSR No. 722 (E) on 6th October, 2021for public consultation. As per the draft notification,
the producer, Importers &brand-owners respectively shall ensure minimum level of recycling
(excluding end of life disposal) of plastic packaging waste collected under Extended Producer
Responsibility. The enforceable prescription of minimum level of recycling of plastic
packaging waste collected under Extended Producer Responsibility to producer, Importers
&brand-owners in the draft notification will further strengthen circular economy of plastic
Bags made of alternative materials to plastic such as jute has been used for packaging
food grains. The Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in packaging Commodities) Act,
1987 authorize the Government of India to reserve certain commodities or class of
commodities for compulsory packaging in jute packaging material in the interest of jute
economy. During the Jute Year 2020 – 2021, food grains and sugar were reserved for
packaging in jute material.