The Centre has issued an advisory to states and Union Territories, asking them to curb production of plastic bags, plastic cutlery and cutlery made of thermocol before October 2. This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022.
The advisory issued by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change earlier this month said all government offices, public and private sector firms and all offices may be discouraged to use plastic products, including artificial flowers, banners, flags, flower pots, PET plastic water bottles, plastic stationery items like folders and any other plastic material for which an alternative exists.
The ministry is expected to shortly come out with a clear definition of single-use plastics, which is expected to expand upon this advisory, sources told TOI.
Some 24 states and six UTs have issued regulations to curb single-use plastics and the Union ministry’s advisory said its suggestions should be added to existing orders or to any new regulations a state government or UT undertakes.
Government events to shun use of single-use plastic
The Centre’s advisory has urged all institutions to promote and practise source segregation on the office premises. It said the packaging industry may be called upon to implement the extended producer responsibility by effectively collecting back plastic waste. The Centre has said states and UTs can play a key role in promoting eco-friendly alternatives in order to phase out single-use plastics progressively.
It called for awareness and sensitisation campaigns to be organised throughout the state or UT using television, radio “to discourage the use of single-use plastic”. The advisory said all events organised by or sponsored by the government shall be single-use plastic free. It said the government should try to invite eminent public personalities to serve as brand ambassadors to take part in campaigns to discourage the use of single-use plastics. “Attention should be focussed on creating awareness/sensitisation in hotspots of plastic usage, including tourist spots, religious spots, beaches, pilgrimage sites, schools, colleges,” according to the advisory.
Sources said the Centre will also provide enough time to companies to transition to a single-use plastics-free regime to ensure that supply chains are not disrupted. Sources said the companies are on board to comply with the rules but want enough time to be provided to move to alternatives.
Source: Times of India