India is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws on Oct. 2, officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, is set to launch the campaign with a ban on as many as six items on Oct. 2, the birth anniversary of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, two officials said.
These include plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets, said the officials, who asked not to be identified, in line with government policy. “The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage and import of such items,” one official said.
India’s environment and housing ministries, the two main ministries leading the drive, did not respond to emails from Reuters to seek comment. In an Independence Day speech on Aug. 15, Modi had urged people and government agencies to “take the first big step” on Oct. 2 towards freeing India of single-use plastic.
Concerns are growing worldwide about plastic pollution, with a particular focus on the oceans, where nearly 50% of single-use plastic products end up, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, studies show.
The European Union plans to ban single-use plastic items such as straws, forks, knives and cotton buds by 2021.