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India Proposes Phase Out of Single-Use Plastic Items by 2022

India parliament building and flag

India’s central government has issued a draft nationwide proposal to mandate certain requirements for plastic carry-out bags and to ban certain single-use plastics beginning in 2022. A Draft Notification Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021, published by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on March 12, 2021, announced the proposed ban that would take place in three phases.

First, as of September 30, 2021, non-woven plastic carry bags (made of virgin or recycled plastic) must at least 60 grams per square meter (GSM) or 240 microns thick. Compostable plastic carry bags would be exempted.

Second, starting on January 1, 2022, India is proposing to ban the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of certain single-use plastic commodities, including candy sticks and ice-cream sticks. Other single-use plastic commodities to be banned after this date include ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags,  and polystyrene decorations.

Third, as of July 1, 2022, India would ban the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of additional single-use plastic items (including items made with polystyrene and expanded polystyrene). The single-use plastic commodities that would be prohibited after this date include the following food-contact articles:  plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, straws, trays, stirrers, and wrapping films around sweet boxes. Non-food contact items include wrapping/packing films around invitation cards and cigarette packets, and plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron thick.

Comments on this proposal may be made for 60 days after publication. The final rules will come into effect on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.