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NEW DELHI : The environment ministry said on Tuesday it has formed special task forces across all states and union territories for enforcing the planned ban on single use plastic (SUP) from next month, signalling the government’s intent to go ahead with the measure despite protests by small businesses.

The task force is responsible for checking any illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned SUP items across the country.

States and Union territories have been asked to set up border checks to stop inter-state movement of any banned single use plastic items, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change said.

The Central Pollution Control Board also announced two initiatives to monitor the ban.

A national dashboard on elimination of SUP and plastic waste management has been setup.

The dashboard will keep track of the implementation of the action plan.

Alongside, an CPCB grievance redressal app was launched so that citizens can act as watchdogs against the menace. The app will enable users to lodge and track SUP-related complaints with on-site photos.

More than 4,000 urban local bodies (ULB) have registered with the monitoring module for compliance on elimination of SUP. The module will be linked with an SUP field application app which will allow direct uploading of field verification reports.

The ministry also issued directions to plastic raw material makers to not supply raw material for manufacture of banned SUP items, to cancel consent to operate to units for manufacturing of banned SUP, and to e-commerce companies to stop the sale of these items.

To raise awareness about the different alternatives available to banned SUP, the ministry will organise national level expos for stakeholders. Provisions have been made in central government schemes by the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to support MSME units with manufacturing alternatives.

MSMEs have previously requested the government for a staggered implementation of the ban to allow a smooth transition to alternatives.

However, the government has no intentions of delaying the ban.

“Sufficient time was provided to the industry to adapt and part ways with SUP items. The ban will be imposed on 1 July. We are ensuring that the criteria of ban which is hygienic recycling, product safety, social and economic impact are met," said Bhupender Yadav, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change.

On Tuesday, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said it has written to Yadav to push back the ban by a year.

MSMEs have warned that the ban could result in the closure of swab manufacturing in India, threatening around 3,000 MSMEs and 15,000 jobs.

The ban will force MSMEs to import rolled paper sticks at high costs, which will jeopardize MSMEs in the healthcare sector, small businesses said.

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