Ban on single-use plastics in Indian waters
The below circular issued by DG Shipping relates to vessels (Indian & Foreign Flag) calling at India & transiting Indian waters.
The Indian Directorate General of Shipping (DGS), Ministry of Shipping India has issued DGS Order No.5 0f 2019 imposing a ban on single use plastics on Indian flagged ships and foreign flagged ships that call to any port or place in India and during their passage through India's territorial sea.
The ban takes effect in two stages, as follows:
The following single use plastic items are prohibited with immediate effect:
- Cutlery, plates, cups
- Up to 10 litre bottles for water and other drinks
- Garbage and shopping bags
- Dispensing containers for cleaning fluids which are less than 10 litres
The following single use plastic items are prohibited with effect from 1st January 2020:
- Bags, trays, containers, food packaging film
- Milk bottles, freezer bags, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers
- Bottles for water and other drinks, dispensing containers for cleaning fluids, biscuit trays
- Hot drink cups, insulated food packaging, protective packaging for fragile items
- Microwave dishes, ice cream tubs, potato chip bags, bottle caps
It is worth noting that at Indian airports there is no specific check or ban on plastic bags but all duty free items sold in Mumbai airport (arrival) are packed in cloth or paper bags.
It would be safe to inform all seafarers joining vessels in India to avoid carrying any plastic bags as hand luggage.