Single Use plastic to go, says Environment Minister

One of the items in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech was his appeal to citizens to do away with single use plastic. This no doubt has struck a chord with many environmentalists and campaigners who are rooting for a sustainable planet. Now that the PM has spoken, get ready for a massive public campaign.

Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who is in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to attend the ministerial meetings of BRICS and BASIC countries, responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to make India free of single-use plastic and said that his ministry will review all initiatives and campaigns in this regard and “chalk out a concrete plan” to realise this target.

“In response to the Prime Minister’s call on India’s 73rd Independence day to make India free of single-use plastic, a massive public campaign will be launched engaging all stakeholders. In this regard, a series of meetings will be done with all stakeholders, including state governments, to chalk out a concrete plan to make it a people’s campaign to realise the ultimate target,” Javadekar said.

Modi, during his address to the nation on Independence Day, had urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic and also suggested that shopkeepers provide eco-friendly bags to customers.

“During my 2014 speech, I spoke about cleanliness. It became a movement in the country and the common man took it up with gusto. Today, I have another request. By October 2, on the birth anniversary of dear Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), I want to urge citizens to give up single-use plastic. Shopkeepers should sell jute and cloth bags. Customers should adopt ways to reduce plastic usage. We must also put technologies in use to abolish plastic usage,” the Prime Minister said.

Single-use plastics are not just polythene bags but any plastic item which cannot be recycled.

More than 20 states in the country have so far notified a full or partial ban on single-use plastics.

There is no doubt that the streets of Patna, though not pristine, have become noticeably cleaner following the Swachh Bharat campaign, but the city drains are still choking with polythene bags . Let’s see how single use plastic disappears.