New Delhi: Following the recovery of 46 tonne of single use plastic (SUP) items last month, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has decided to intensify its drive against banned articles made from hazardous synthetic polymers. State pollution control boards have also been told to carry out drive against the SUP and impose hefty penalty on those violating the ban order.
A total of 20036 inspections were carried out by various agencies, including 6448 by CPCB teams, during October 17-19, in which over 4000 violations were observed and 2900 challans have been issued to the defaulters. Approximately 46 tonnes of SUP items have been seized and a fine of ₹41 lakhs imposed by the concerned authorities across the country.
The ministry of environment, forest & climate change (MoEF&CC) issued notification on August 12 this year, banning production, sale, stocking & distribution, import and usage of identified SUP items including cutlery items, thin packaging films, candy & ice-cream sticks with effect from July 01, 2022.
“Such attempts (regular crackdown) are being made to break the supply chain of SUP items in the market through backtracking. Retailers, wholesalers and factories engaged in manufacturing SUP items have been traced and huge cache of the banned items seized during the inspections,” said a CPCB officer, adding that checks are also being carried out at interstate borders to prevent interstate transportation of banned SUP items.
In order to ensure its implementation the CPCB had earlier issued comprehensive directions to state pollution control board (SPCBs), Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) and other stakeholders. Directions were issued to manufacturers to stop raw material supply to the SUP producers and E-commerce companies to stop sale & usage of SUP items on their platform.
Several enabling measures such as training of MSMEs for switching over to alternatives to plastics have also been taken up by CPCB during this period. Digital interventions including development SUP compliance monitoring portal & SUP public grievance app were taken up to facilitate effective monitoring of activities related to enforcement of ban. CPCB along with SPCBs/PCCs also conducted inspections of major commercial establishments during July-August 2022.
Further augmenting its efforts, CPCB started a special drive from October 17, 2022, and more than 50 teams have been deployed for conducting inspections for restricting usage of SUP items by the flower sellers, street vendors, sabzi mandis, fish market, whole sale markets, etc. State urban development department officials participated during inspections. SPCBs/PCCs have also been asked to conduct similar drives.