Waging a war against single- use plastic, the Centre has come up with a list of 12 pollutants to be banned, which includes cigarette butts, considered to be one of the biggest plastic pollutants in the world.

The central government has not come up with any timeline, however, to enforce the ban. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the ban would come up in a phased manner.

The list proposed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also include small plastic bottles for beverages (less than 200 ml), plastic sticks used for ear buds, balloons, flags and candies, thin carry bags (less than 50 microns), cutlery – non foamed bowls and plates, small plastic cups, containers (less than 150 ml and 5 gms), foamed cups, bowls and plates, non-woven carry bags, small wrapping/packing films, straws/stirrers, expanded polystyrene (thermocol), roadside banners (less than 100 microns), plastic sticks for ear buds, balloons, flags, candies and cigarette butts.

CPCB is coming up with a plan to eliminate single-use plastic from India by 2022.

The people from the plastic industry was asked to submit alternatives, by Friday, for the items which would be banned.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech this year and subsequently in his monthly radio address ”Mann ki Baat,” appealed to people against using plastic to protect the environment.

PM Modi said, “In a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, we will carry our cleanliness drives from homes to schools to colleges. This time we have to focus specifically on plastics. In the Independence Day speech I had specifically said that we must show the same commitment as the crores of Indians who were a part of swachchata abhiyan and making India open defecation free, we have to eliminate single use plastic.”

In his monthly radio broadcast Mann ki Baat, Modi said, “When we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary, we’ll not only be dedicating to him an open defecation free India but also kick-starting a mass movement for making India plastic free. I appeal to all to celebrate this year’s Gandhi Jayanti by freeing Mother India of plastic.”

PM stressed about the need for abolishing single use plastic for environment conservation. “We will start a new campaign against plastic usage on Gandhi Jayanti, let’s make Gandhi Jayanti as a special day when we give up on plastic and promote cleanliness,” he said.