GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 2306
TO BE ANSWERED ON: 09.08.2021
2306. SMT. AMBIKA SONI:
(a) the current status of single use plastic in the country;
(b) whether Government has taken any new initiative to phase out single use plastic
products and if so, the details thereof; and
(c) the fresh steps taken by Government on plastic waste management including reducing
plastic waste generation, finding suitable alternatives for single use plastic products,etc.?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI ASHWINI KUMAR CHOUBEY)
(a) to (c):The Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, 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. Separately,34 States/UTs have issued
notifications/orders introducing regulations pertaining to complete or partial ban on plastic carry
bags and/or identified single-use plastic items, over and above the PWM Rules.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had also issued a notification in the
Gazette of India vide GSR No. 169 (E) on 11th March 2021 containing draft provisions for
amending Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, inter alia prohibiting the use of identified
single use plastic items by 2022, for public consultation.
As per the notification containing draft provisions, the manufacture, import, stocking,
distribution, sale and use of the following identified single use plastic items are proposed to be
prohibited as per schedule given below
- No. Items Phase out date
1 Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic less than120 microns
2 Non-woven plastic carry bag less than 60 GSM (Gram per square
meter) or 240 microns in thickness
3 Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags,
candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for
4 single-use plastic (including polystyrene and expanded
plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives,
straw,trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes; invitation
cards; and cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100
The above provisions shall not apply to commodities (including
carry bags) made of compostable plastic material.
The following steps have been taken to strengthen implementation of Plastic Waste Management
Rules, 2016 and also to reduce the use of identified single use plastic items:
(i) The States/UTs have been requested to constitute a Special Task Force under Chairpersonship
of Chief Secretary/Administrator for elimination of single use plastics and effective
implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. Already, 19States/UTs have
constituted the Special Task Force till date. A National Level Taskforce has also been constituted
by the Ministry for taking coordinated efforts to eliminate identified single use plastic items and
effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
(ii) The State /UT Governments and concerned Central Ministries/Departments have also been
requested for the development of a comprehensive action plan for elimination of single use
plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and its
implementation in a time bound manner.
(iii) Directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, have been issued to
all States/Union Territoriesinter alia for setting up for institutional mechanism for strengthening
enforcement of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016.
(iv) The Government has been taking measures for awareness generation towards elimination
of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. A
two month long Awareness Campaign of Single Use Plastic 2021 has been organized. The
Ministry has also organized pan India essay writing competition on the theme for spreading
awareness amongst school students in the country. To encourage innovation in development of
alternatives to identified single use plastic items and digital solutions to plastic waste
management, the India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021, has been organized for students of
Higher Educational Institutions and startups recognized under Startup India Initiative.
(v) A total financial allocation of Rs. 1,41,678 crores over a period of 5 years from 2021-2026 has been made under Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, with a focus on complete faecal sludge management and waste water treatment, source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic, reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from constructionand-demolition activities and bio-remediation of all legacy waste dump sites. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen Phase II, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has issued
operational guidelines to the States and Union Territories inter alia for solid and liquid waste management in rural areas which includes plastic waste management.
(vi) The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has taken steps to encourage transition from single use plastic items to alternate materials. NITI Aayog has already constituted a Committee to find out/develop an alternative product to plastic. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change has shared with States/UTs an indicative Action Plan for elimination of identified single use plastics. This indicative Action Plan has a thematic area on development and promotion of alternatives to prohibited single use plastic items and promoting innovation.