In announcing the ban, the government dismissed demands from food, beverage and consumer goods companies to postpone the restriction to avoid disruption.
But India, which uses around 14 million tons of plastic a year, lacks an organized system to manage plastic waste, leading to widespread littering.
City streets are littered with used plastic items that eventually clog drains, rivers and oceans and also kill animals.
India’s ban on single-use plastic items includes straws, cutlery, earplugs, packaging film, plastic sticks for balloons, candy and ice cream, and cigarette packs, among other products, the prime minister’s government said. Narendra Modi in a statement.
PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, India’s Parle Agro, Dabur and Amul had all lobbied for straws to be exempted from the ban.
In a relief to consumers, the government has exempted plastic bags for now, but has asked manufacturers and importers to increase the thickness to promote reuse.
In addition to food and beverage and consumer goods companies, plastic makers have also complained about the ban, which they say did not give them adequate time to prepare for the restriction.
Some experts believe that enforcing the ban could be difficult. The government has decided to set up control rooms to control any illegal use, sale and distribution of single-use plastic products.
According to the United Nations, plastic waste is found in epidemic proportions in the world’s oceans, with an estimated 100 million tons dumped there. Scientists have found large amounts of microplastic in the intestines of deep-dwelling marine mammals, such as whales.