Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is aiming to limit the consumption of single-use plastic and eventually eliminate it by 2022. The initiative to crack down on plastic was launched on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday.
The chart below shows how much plastic waste is generated in India.
While the plastic ban is being initiated in India, around 60 countries have already banned single-use plastic fully or partially in their countries. For instance, in the US, multiple cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, have banned single-use plastic. To dissuade people from using plastic, cities like Washington DC and Boston have imposed taxes on plastic bags.
Kenya completely banned plastic bags in 2017. Anyone violating the rule could face imprisonment or $40,000 in fine. Joining Kenya is another African country, Rwanda, that has a complete ban on plastic. Along with the penalties imposed, the Rwandan authorities even search the vehicle at border posts for any plastic bag or packaging. Zimbabwe also has a ban on Styrofoam containers, violation of which can lead to fines of up to $5,000.
In 2016, France banned plastic cups, plates and utensils, before which it had banned plastic bags. The Justin Trudeau-led government also decided to take necessary measures to reduce plastic pollution in Canada. Canadians are trying to ban plastic bottles, bags and straws in as early as 2021. However, in Montreal, there is already a ban on plastic items. If caught, the Canadian authorities could fine one up to $1,000. Taiwan has a ban on plastic bags, straws, utensils and cups since last year. South Korea banned the usage of plastic bags in major supermarkets. Violators are fined around $2,700.
In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country to ban thinner plastic bags. Morocco had announced a nationwide ban on the production and plastic bag use in 2016. As per the Moroccan industry ministry, the country was using around 3 billion plastic bags, making it the largest consumer of the item after the US.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned plastic bags in 2018. The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda also aims to ban single-use plastic in the coming years with stricter laws and ban on import of plastic bags and Styrofoam items.