No imminent ‘ban’ on single-use plastic: Javadekar

single-use plastic-Javadekar

There is no imminent ban on the use of single-use plastic (SUP) in India, according to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

At a press conference on Monday, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t say ‘ban’, but said ‘goodbye’ to SUP waste. “From October 2, we will begin an attempt to collect all that waste. Nearly 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste remains uncollected,” he pointed out.

Mr. Javadekar was referring to Mr. Modi’s address at the United Nations Conference on Desertification, where he said, “I think the time has come for the world to say goodbye to single use plastic… My government has announced that India will put an end to single-use plastic in the coming years.”

Government officials have reiterated over the last month that there will be a concerted attempt by the government to redouble the efforts to limit the use and consumption of SUP.

While there’s no official definition of ‘single-use plastic’, it refers largely to plastic bags, cups, water bottles and straws that are believed to contribute a significant share to India’s plastic waste problem.

Several States have laws against the use of such plastics but they aren’t enforced, largely due to the costs of collecting and ensuring that these waste plastics are recycled at proper facilities.

In the last month, there’s been speculation that India is looking at a ban on the use of single-use plastic from October 2 this year to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

India has a long-standing committment to eliminate the use of single-use plastic by 2022.

“We make a solemn pledge that by 2022, we shall eliminate all single-use plastic from our beautiful country. Our beloved Prime Minister Shri Modi ji has envisioned a new India by 2022 – an India of our dreams which shall be clean, poverty-free, corruption-free, terrorism-free, casteism-free … and most of all … which will be a global superpower. This India of our dreams shall also be single-use plastic free,’ Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on World Environment Day last year. He was then the Environment Minister.

This had pushed several States — notably Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh — to enforce previous commitments to ban plastic bags and similar disposables.

A resolution moved by India at the United Nations Environment Assembly to eliminate SUP by 2025 was defeated with the final text of the agreement only committing to the “significantly reduced use” of SUP by 2030.

Source: The Hindu

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