The government has announced a number of steps to phase out single-use plastics with the eventual goal of stopping all usage to reduce the country’s plastic footprint. Here’s what India has done so far:

Curbs on use and generation of plastic waste:

A) Carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 50 microns in thickness have been prohibited

B) Complete ban on plastic sachets used for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and pan masala

C) These rules are uniformly applicable to all states

D) India has pledged to ban all single-use plastics by 2022.

All offices of central and state governments and major PSUs have been told to prohibit single-use plastic products.

Commissioners of 46 cities with million-plus population and 20 state capitals, and 118 towns located along the Ganga have been directed to prohibit manufacture and use of plastic carry bags below 50-micron thickness

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E) BIS has rules in place for plastics in daily-use products such as cosmetics and toiletries, which contain microbeads or small particles that are not bio-degradable/water-soluble BIS has come out with an Indian standard according to which plastic microbeads of diameter 5 mm or less, that are insoluble in water, and solid plastic particles used to exfoliate or cleanse in personal care products are banned

F) 21 states/UTs have separately notified more stringent norms and banned plastic carry bags and other items

India banned imports of solid plastic waste only in March this year.

A six-month grace period was provided to allow traders to honour past commitments. The deadline ended on August 31

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About 47% of plastic waste generated globally in 2015 was packaging material; half of that came from Asia. China remains the largest generator of plastic packaging. US is the largest generator of plastic packaging waste on a per-capita basis.

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