CAIT Urges Government For One Year Lean Period To Comply With Single-Use Plastic Ban

The confederation asks government not to take coercive action against any trader or unit for at least the first year of the ban

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Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), on Sunday, urged the government for a phase-wise approach on banning single-use plastics in the country, which came into effect on 1 July. The request was made by Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT national secretary general and Suresh Sonthalia, national secretary, in a communication sent to Union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav.

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In the communication, it is said that, "We humbly request you to please direct the concerned departments not to take coercive action against any trader or unit for at least the first year of the ban. A joint committee of senior government officials and other stakeholders should be set up with a time-bound mandate of suggesting and developing equitable alternatives to single-use plastic so that the country stops using it without any disruption."

It also added that, "The duty of the government is to roll out the policy and respective orders but it may not reach to desired results and therefore, for such a gigantic task of ushering into a new era having no usage of single-use plastics, a comprehensive, collaborative and participatory approach is needed to ensure that in a short time, the country should be free from single-use plastic."

As per reports, the mass usage of single-use plastic has been for packaging or handling of goods because its negligible price and ease of use. According to the confederation's statement, the equitable alternatives are either unavailable or highly expensive in comparison to the single-use plastic. With regard to the sudden ban may harshly affect different sectors such as healthcare, transportation, building, packaging and more.

In a statement made by the environment ministry, on 28 June, it is said that, "Importantly, ahead of the ban, the government earlier this week had noted that the capacity-building workshops are being organized for MSMEs to provide them technical assistance for manufacturing alternatives to banned single-use plastic items with involvement of CPCB or SPCBs along with ministry of MSME, central institute of petrochemicals engineering and their state centres. Provisions have also been made to support such enterprises in transitioning away from banned single-use plastics."

The central pollution control board had issued a notice to ban single-use plastic from 1 July 2022. As per the notification of Central government, "The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene commodities will be banned effectively from July 1, 2022. Other prohibited items include plastic sticks, plastic cups, plastic glasses and so on."