India's Ministry of Environment has banned the import of solid plastic waste into the country. The ban also applies to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Export-Oriented Units (EOU), the Ministry announced on Wednesday. EOU are units which export their entire production. The new rules entered into force on the day of their publication in the Official Gazette, which took place on 5 March.
The ban was introduced in view of the "huge gap" between plastic waste arisings in the country and recycling capacity, the "Times of India" quotes a ministry official. According to this report, 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste are generated in India every day.
Last year, China's stricter import policies resulted in increasing amounts of plastic waste being exported to India and other Asian countries. According to data from the EU statistics agency Eurostat, shipments from the EU alone to India reached close to 160,000 tonnes in 2018, up from 110,000 tonnes in 2017.