India has banned the use, sale, import, manufacturing, and processing of single-use plastic goods across the country to minimize plastic waste and pollution, as reported by Reuters on July 1. Prohibited goods include plastic cups, straws, cutlery, earbuds, and others, while plastic bags are exempt from the ban. However, the Indian government has ordered manufacturers to increase the thickness of plastic bags to promote reuse. Some food and beverage and consumer products corporations, such as PepsiCo [PEP:US] and Coca-Cola [KO:US], have asked the government to exclude straws from the ban, while plastic makers claimed they did not have enough time to prepare for the ban.
India introduced plastic waste management rules in June 2018, which will go into effect on July 1, 2022. The rules intend to eliminate all single-use plastic goods in India by the end of 2022. The country’s capital New Delhi generates 689 tons of plastic garbage every day, while India overall generates over 26,000 tons of plastic waste per day, at least 40% of which is not recycled. Many groups, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Sector (FICCI), have raised concerns that a full ban on single-use plastic items would have a wide-ranging impact on the industry. According to D’Andrea & Partners figures, a total prohibition will cost the food processing industry USD11.7bn in sales. In addition to the ban, the Indian government has been actively pursuing effective and scientific waste management, such as expanding plastic waste recycling by using recycled plastics in road building, waste-to-energy, and garment production.