Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Centre writes to States to phase out single-use plastic

Spl. Correspondent

On the eve of the World Environment Day, the Centre on Saturday issued an advisory to states and union territories to phase out single-use plastic (SUP).
On June 5, 2022, States/ UTs and Urban Local Bodies across the country will swing into campaign mode, in a bid to make the country free of SUP as well as contribute to improving the environment, under the overarching mandate of “Clean and Green”.
This comes on the heels of Prime Minister Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address to the nation on May 29, 2022, where he exhorted citizens to join together and make some efforts for cleanliness and tree plantation on the occasion of World Environment Day.
Given the dual mandate of World Environment Day and India’s committed ban of SUP by June 30, 2022, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has issued a detailed advisory to States and UTs to take up a range of activities to fulfil those mandates.
These would include large scale cleaning and plogging drives, with special emphasis on plastic waste collection, as well as large scale tree plantation drives, with participation of all citizens – students, voluntary organisations, self-help groups, local NGOs, CSOs, NSS and NCC cadets, RWAs, market associations, corporate entities, etc.
While 2,591 urban local bodies (ULBs) out of 4,704 have already reported notification of SUP ban as per the directions of Central Pollution Control Board and the environment ministry, states and UTs will need to ensure that the remaining 2,100-plus ULBs notify the same by June 30, 2022.
It also states that ULBs will need to identify SUP ‘hotspots’ and eliminate them, while parallely leveraging the support of state pollution control boards and forming special enforcement squads, conducting surprise inspections and imposing heavy fines and penalties on defaulters for enforcing SUP bans.
As per the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 75 microns (75 µ i.e. 0.075 mm in thickness) has been banned with effect from Sept 30, 2021 as opposed to 50 microns recommended earlier under PWM Rules, 2016, the ministry said.


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