“Seventeen States/UTS Have Imposed Complete Ban on Use of Polythene Bags”: Environment Minister

“As per the provisions of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, the generators of waste have been mandated to take steps to minimize generation of plastic waste, not to litter the plastic waste, ensure segregated storage of waste at source and handover segregated waste to local bodies or agencies authorised by the local bodies. The Rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers and street vendors to manage the plastic waste. The rules mandate the producers, importers and brand owners to work out modalities for waste collection system based on Extended Producer Responsibility.

In the country, 17 States / Union Territories have imposed complete ban on manufacture, stock, sale and use of plastic carrybags, through directions/notifications and executive orders. Further, use of plastic carry bags has been partially banned in some pilgrimage centres, tourist and historical places located in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The Government has notified Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, which, inter-alia, regulate manufacture, sale, distribution and use of plastic carry bags including carry bags of compostable plastic, and plastic sheets for packaging or wrapping applications. The use of carry bags made from conventional plastic with thickness less than 50 micron is prohibited. The use of plastic for packaging gutkha, tobacco and pan masala is also prohibited.

There is no proposal to impose ban on the use of polythene bags completely throughout the country”.

This information was given by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.