India – Ban on Single-use Plastics

7 November 2019

Members whose ships call at ports in India or pass through Indian territorial waters should note that the Ministry of Shipping in India has imposed a ban on the use and disposal of single-use plastics. The ban is already enforceable for certain types of single-use plastics (eg. cutlery, plates, cups, water and drinks bottles, bags, cleaning fluid containers of less than 10 litres) and will come in full effect for a wider range of items from 1 January 2020.

Order No.15 of the Government of India’s Directorate General of Shipping sets out full details and can be accessed by clicking here. Vessels are required to make a log book entry (recording the time, latitude and longitude) identifying the “single-use plastic items” on board, along with the location where these items are stored, prior to entering Indian territorial waters. Disposal of such items ashore, to Indian port reception facilities and/or in Indian territorial waters, is prohibited. In the event of non-compliance, a hand-written deficiency may be issued in the printed PSC Form “B”. The correspondents in India, James Mackintosh & Co Pvt Ltd, report that there have been no detentions of foreign vessels nor fines issued so far.

If Members calling at Indian ports or proceeding through Indian territorial waters are to carry single-use plastic items on board, it is recommended that such items are locked away and that Members ensure that they are not disposed of in India (whether ashore as rubbish or accidentally overboard).