The Directorate General of Shipping(DGS), India deals with implementation of shipping policy and legislation so as to ensure the safety of life and ships at sea, prevention of marine pollution, and co-ordination with the International Maritime Organization, development of coastal shipping, augmentation of shipping tonnage, Supervision and Control of ships under its administrative jurisdiction.
On October 2, on 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India announced a single-use plastic ban. Single-use plastics means disposable plastics, which are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. The ban was to follow Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s 2018 commitment to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022.
In connection with the Government of India’s plastic ban initiative, the Director General of Shipping vide an order dated 16th October 2019 has decided to prohibit the usage of single-use plastics on Indian ships and foreign ships while such ships are in Indian waters. The key highlights of the Order are as follows:
- The Order imposes a ban on Single Use Plastic on Indian Ships and Foreign Ships in Indian waters. That means all Indian Ships; and Foreign ships in any port or place in India shall follow this order.
- Items prohibited with immediate effect i.e. 16-10-2019- It further specifies the items that are prohibited with immediate effect such as cutlery, plates and cups, bottles for water and other drinks up-to 10 liters, garbage and shopping bags and dispensing containers for cleaning fluids which are less than 10 liters volume.
- Items prohibited from 1st January 2020- The Order specifies the items which will be prohibited for use with effect from January 1, 2020 such as 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.
Apart from this, the DGS also ordered that all Recognized Organizations to ensure during surveys, inspection and audits of Indian ships that Single use plastics are not found used/stored on board any Indian ship. These measures have been put in place to ensure safe, secure, environmentally sound and sustainable shipping and in public interest.