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India bans single use plastic on ships

List of banned items onboard Indian and foreign ships in Indian waters includes water bottles, shampoo bottles and food packaging

India has banned vessels flying its flag and any foreign vessels in its waters from using single use plastic. Citing its efforts to meet UN goals and the country’s Shipping Ministry has issued a ban stating it is part of its own efforts to “take the first big step”.

The Indian Directorate General of Shipping cites Annex V of Marpol (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships”) which places a ban on the disposal of plastics at sea, but sad that “anecdotal accounts suggest the prevalence of wilful dumping of litter (plastic bottles, bags etc.) overboard by seafarers and that the lack of proper education and management has lead the seafarers to inevitably use single-use plastic products and discard them in a non-responsible manner.”

in Iarger public interest a ban is imposed on single use plastic on lndian ships and foreign ships while in Indian waters. With immediate effect vessels are banned from using plastic cutlery, plates and cups, plastic bottles, garbage and shopping bags and dispensing containers for cleaning fluids which are less than 10 litre of volume

As of January 1 2020 the ban extends to items such as bags, trays, containers, food packaging film, milk bottles, freezer bags, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers, bottles for water and other drinks, hot drink cups, protective packaging for fragile items, ice cream tubs, potato chip (crisp) bags and bottle caps.

The Indian authorities have instructed Recognized Organizations (class society surveyors mainly)  tasked with inspections and survey to ensure such items are neither found nor stored on board.

It remains unclear how the ban will be actively or effectively enforced ot what sort of penalties will be levied, nor is it clear of the ban will have a detrimental effect on seafarers on board who may find some items difficult to immediately replace.

About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.