Sikkim Municipalities have started issuing notices to stakeholders and the general public about the national ban on major single-use plastic items from July 1st this year.
Ban on Single Use Plastics
This move has been undertaken in response to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)’s notice for implementing blanket ban on certain SUP products with effect from July 1, 2022.
Earlier, a release issued by the Mangan Nagar Panchayat said, “the Manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following in Single-Use Plastic (SUP) including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from 1st July, 2022.”
“Earbuds with plastic sticks, for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol plastic) for decoration. Plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, plastic or PVC banners less than 1000 micron, stirrers,” the release further read.
Simiarly, a notice from the office of Municipal Executive Officer, Nayabazar- Jorethang Nagar Panchayat issued reiterated the same, it is now expected that more notices will be issued from other municipalities and Nagar Panchayats.
The notice, in compliance with the provisions stipulated in the “Plastic Waste Management and Handling Bye-Laws, 2021”, in pursuance to clause (4) of Rule 6 of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, Government of Sikkim issued the following:
- No person shall stock, distribute, sell or use plastic bags, plastic sheets or multi-layered packaging, disposable items (cups, plates, spoons, containers, etc. and packaging items made up of Expanded/Extruded Polystyrene Foam like Styrofoam, thermocol, etc. or any other plastic product in contravention of provisions of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 read with Rule 10 of Sikkim Trade License and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Rules, 2011. Plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as fork, spoons, knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packing films used for sweet boxes, invitation cards and cigarette packets, PVC Banners, etc. must not be less than 100 microns;
- Further, in conformity with to Rule 5.12 of Solid Waste Management Cleanliness and Sanitation- Bye-Laws, 2019, on its own or by engaging an agency, no person shall engage in open burning of plastic waste in any public place/ private properties/ institutions/ establishments/ vacant sites etc.;
- Every waste generator shall strictly practice source segregation. Segregation of plastic wastes shall be done separately from other kinds of wastes by the waste generators. This segregated plastic waste shall be handed over to the collection agency designated/authorized by the Urban Local Bodies;
- Carry bags made out of virgin or non-recycled plastic shall not be less than 75 microns in thickness until 31st December, 2022, thereafter which plastic bags with a thickness of 120 microns and above only shall be permissible;
- Non-woven carry bags shall not be less than 60 grams per square meter (GSM).
This ban prohibits all production, stocking, distribution, sale and use of single-use plastic (SUP) items across India and has strictly ordered that action will be taken against violators which may include closure of establishment, seizure of goods and fines.
“Any person found in contravention of these provisions shall be liable to legal action by the competent authority” the notice read.
In the year 2021 Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang during Gandhi Jayanti had made a verbal announcement that the plastic water bottles will be banned in Sikkim starting January 1, 2022. In his address he said, “there will be a ‘complete ban on retail and usage of such products’ and added that the decision was made keeping in mind the environmental concerns of the state. Sikkim being the Himalayan state is blessed with natural resources which provides fresh, good and quality drinking water and hence the decision.”
In the process, The state government on December 29 issued a notification which put ban on packaged drinking water bottles starting New year 2022.