New Delhi: On India’s 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday stressed on the problem of plastic usage and its waste generation, asking if the country can be free from single-use plastic. The Prime Minister said in his address from the Red Fort, “Can we free India from single-use plastic? The time for implementing such an idea has come. May teams be mobilised to work in this direction. Let a significant step be made on October 2.”
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India produces over 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had said earlier that of the total waste generated daily, only 13,000-14,000 tonnes were collected. He said it had been decided to ban the import of plastic waste from August 2019.
As per the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Annual Report for 2016-17, it is estimated that the total solid waste generated daily in India is some 1,50,000 tonnes.
Of this, about 90 per cent (1,35,000 tonnes per day) is collected. Of the collected waste, 20 per cent (27,000 tonnes per day) is processed and the rest goes to the dumpsites.
A study by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 60 major cities of India estimated that 4,059 tonnes per day of plastic waste was generated. According to CPCB, 69,414 tonnes of e-waste was collected, dismantled and recycled during 2017-18.
As per the UN University report “The Global E-Waste Monitor 2017”, 20 lakh tonnes of e-waste generation was reported in the country in 2016.
Despite plastic being banned in several states and Union Territories, its usage is widespread. The national capital has banned the use, storage, and production of single-use plastic but many continue to use it.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.