October 31, 2019
In an unprecedented move, India has moved to ban single-use plastics on ships sailing through its territorial waters.
In a statement issued by India’s Directorate General of Shipping, a number of plastic, single-use items are banned instantly, while others will be officially banned from the 1st of January 2020; this regulation will apply to all vessels entering Indian ports or transiting through Indian waters.
Specifically, the items below are banned with immediate effect
Plastic cutlery, cups and plates;
Garbage and shopping bags;
Cleaning fluid containers, with a volume of fewer than 10 ltrs;
Containers for water & other drinks, with a volume of fewer than 10 ltrs;
Furthermore, from January 2020 and onwards the items below will also be permanently banned.
Bottles for water & other drinks and cleaning fluid containers, regardless of volume;
Hot Drink cups, insulated food packaging & protective packaging for fragile items;
Milk bottles, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers, potato chip bags, microwaveable dishes & bottle caps;
Bags, trays, containers & food packaging film.
Furthermore, in addition to the changes above, surveyors will be making sure that such plastics are not used or are available onboard Indian-flagged vessels. Consecutive infractions will be ground for detention, under ISM code.
However, the Directorate General has said that they will not be detaining foreign vessels, as part of enforcing the above regulation.
Crews will be called to store all banned items during port calls, while local port authorities will be carrying out inspections.
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