Single-use plastics or disposable plastics, are commonly used for packaging. Nearly half of the plastics produced in India are single use plastics.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 called for an end to using single-use plastics. The government has set an ambitious target of eliminating single-use plastics by 2022.
Since then, the Centre as well as various State governments have announced measures to curb its use.
Several states in India have already banned single-use plastics. But such measures are proving to be ineffective.
Most cities and towns have not implemented the provisions of the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016 or PWR.
According to PWR, plastic manufacturers and retail establishments that use plastics are legally bound to collect back plastic waste. This is referred to as ‘extended producers responsibility’.
The rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators and retailers to manage waste.
This includes collecting and segregating recyclable plastic, non-recyclable plastic and other waste separately for processing.
But most cities and towns have not implemented these provisions due to the lack of a disciplined system of segregation and recycling.
Experts say that the government should also work on viable alternatives as the current ones are expensive.