NEW DELHI: What is Single Use Plastic (SUP)? A proper definition continues to remain elusive as the Centre Wednesday launched a campaign to phase-out plastics following a call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Against common perception among plastic manufacturers that the central government would come out with an order banning few single-use plastic items, the Union Environment Ministry issued an advisory on September 11 putting onus on state administration to curb the production of plastic carry bags, plastic cutlery including plates, cups, glass, straws, stirrers and cutlery and other decorative made of styrofoam.
The ministry also called upon states to encourage manufacturers to shift to other environmental-friendly materials and find alternatives to single-use plastics. Following the PM’s call on August 15 this year, the environment ministry held meeting with industry bodies, manufacturer associations, experts, state authorities and Central Pollution Control Board among others for getting their views to make the country single-use plastic free.
“The most important things to phase-out single-use plastic is to define it so that it gives clarity to manufacturers but there is still no definition,” said Vijay G Habbu, Advisor Technical, Packaging Association for Clean Environment. Earlier, a committee was formulated by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to define SUPs and prepare a roadmap for its elimination but nothing concrete came out.
Over 50 per cent of SUP waste generated globally comes from the multi-layer packaging industry, which cited lack of alternatives to replace such items.