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Govt.’s ban on use-and-throw plastic items may help avoid another Mumbai flood disaster

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The Central Government has announced the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, that prohibit production, import, distribution, stocking, sale and usage of identified single-use plastic (SUP) items, from July 1, 2022. The SUP items, which are also known as use-and-throw, include candy sticks, plates, cups and cutlery from plastic.

The use of plastic is harmful for the environment. As it sticks into the environment, plastic  threatens wildlife and spreads toxins. It is also one of the contributors to global warming. Nearly every plastic is manufactured from chemicals that come after earth-warming fuels like oil, gas, and also coal are produced.

In fact,experts blamed plastic for the massive flood that hit  Mumbai in 2005.

On July 26, 2005, life in Mumbai was paused as several of the city areas got flooded.  A cloud had burst releasing at least 944 mm of rain on the city’s suburbs. Hundreds of deaths occurred, with most of them reported from shanty town slums, home to a substantial chunk of Mumbai’s population.

This happened just one month after the Gujarat flood in June 2005.

Experts blamed unhindered building work on floodplains and coastal areas, as well asstorm-water drains and clogged waterways by plastic trash for the Mumbai flood disaster.

The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, that the Central Government announced on  August 12, may help avoid another Mumbai flood disaster.

According to the announcement, plastic carry bags will become thicker from September 30, 2021. This will also enable people to reuse the plastic carry bags, it stated. From September 30, this year, non-woven plastic carry bags should not more than 60 gram per square metre (GSM).

According to the announcement, “The production, import, distribution, stocking, sale and use of following single-use plastic, which include polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be forbidden with effect from July 1, 2022: ear buds that have plastic sticks, plastic flags, plastic sticks for balloons, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration; plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays; wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.”

The provisions will not be applicable to commodities manufactured from compostable plastic.

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