With the Government of India’s single-use plastic ban scheduled to come into force on 1st July 2022, the search for green easy-open packaging that balances sustainability with performance intensifies.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is moving ahead with the ban which was first proposed in 2021, keeping in mind the environmental impact of single-use plastic. The measure forces the packaging industry to adapt by integrating more sustainable alternatives to oil-derived plastics, including post-consumer recycled plastic or paper-based materials. Easy-open tape manufacturers must also innovate in line with these requirements.

The Ministry of Environment had already banned polythene bags under 75 microns last year, widening the limit from the earlier 50 microns. The ministry will also phase out plastic bags of thickness less than 120 microns from December 31, 2022, in the country. As per the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, there is also a blanket ban on sachets using plastic material for packing, storing, or selling pan masala, gutkha, and tobacco.

What Items Will Be Banned From July 1, 2022?

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has announced a ban on the following items:-

  • Balloon sticks
  • Cigarette packs
  • Cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays
  • Earbuds
  • Sweet boxes
  • Candy and ice cream sticks
  • Invitation cards
  • Polystyrene for decoration
  • PVC banners measuring under 100 microns

40% – around 10,000 tonnes – of plastic waste in India remains uncollected, according to the Foundation for Campaign Against Plastic Pollution. While the single-use plastic ban has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, there is broad agreement that more action is needed. It is expected that the government will announce more initiatives and regulations to promote alternatives to single-use plastic in future.

How The Plastic Ban Will Be Enforced From July 1, 2022?

The CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) will monitor the ban effective from July 1, 2022. Directives have been issued at the national, state and local levels to not supply raw materials to industries that operate in banned items. Local authorities have been instructed to issue new commercial licenses with the condition that single-use plastic items will not be sold on their premises, and functioning commercial licenses will be cancelled if they are founded to be retailing these items.

People found to be flouting the ban can be fined under the Environment Protection Act 1986, which permits jail of up to five years, or a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both. Furthermore, there are municipal laws on plastic waste, which have their own penal codes.

subscribe processed food industry magazine