New Delhi

India on Friday implemented a ban the sale and distribution of single-use plastic as a measure to protect the environment, even though the much-hailed move may not reduce the carbon footprint of one of the world's biggest polluters.

The law, which was first announced in August 2021, stipulates the ban on single-use plastics in 19 articles, including cutlery, straws, glasses and PVC fabric thinner than 10 microns.

The decision is being considered a major step towards reducing pollution emissions in a country that produces around 3.5 million tons of plastic every year, and where "per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years," the Indian environment ministry said in a statement