Why in news?
As part of the year-long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the government had launched massive campaigns against single-use plastic.
What is single-use plastic?
- Single-use plastics are disposable plastics meant for use-and-throw.
- These comprise polythene bags, plastic drinking bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic sachets, plastic wrappers, straws, stirrers and Styrofoam cups or plates.
- It is harmful to the environment as it is non-biodegradable.
- Single-use plastics slowly and gradually break down into smaller pieces of plastic known as micro plastics.
- It can take thousands of years for plastic bags to decompose, thus contaminating soil and water in the process.
- The noxious chemicals used to produce plastic get transmitted to animal tissue, and finally enter the human food chain.
- Fish consume thousands of tons of plastic in a year, ultimately transferring it up the food chain to marine mammals.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme was redefined in Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, wherein producers, importers and brand owners are asked to take primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachets or pouches or packaging.