New Delhi: Keeping in mind the deadline of becoming a single-use plastic free waste country by 2022, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged plastic manufacturers to keep in mind the safety of the environment. Participating in the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) in Chennai, Mr Naidu said more than economics, environment safety should be the main thought for those dealing with plastic items.
Reduce, reuse and recycle should be the mantra for minimising the deleterious impact of plastics on the environment. By 2050, the plastic sector will account for 20 per cent of total oil consumption and 15 per cent of the global annual carbon budget. At the end of the day, it might not be possible to avoid the use of plastics, but we all should do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle it. Managing plastic waste should be the uppermost thought in the minds of those dealing with plastics.
Stressing on the fact that plastic pollution is on the rise be it in landfills or the oceans, Mr Naidu called for steps to replace conventional plastic with biodegradable polymers and asked CIPET to come out with innovative ways in order to deal with plastic. He added,
Convenience items that are intended for single use are being continually discarded to the landfills, littering our landscapes thereby creating threats for aquatic and marine life. We need solutions, we need innovations. Let us all focus in that direction and instead of being a part of the problem, we all should be part of solutions.
Mr Naidu also advised CIPET and plastic industries and manufacturers to take up awareness campaign on the need to recycle, re-purpose and reuse plastic items and come up with ways of recycling plastic.
“There is a growing recognition that quality of life depends on our environment, the water we use, the air we breathe and the food we eat. If we have to hand over a safer, cleaner and a healthier planet to posterity, we need to take stalk of the amount of plastic we all are using and plastic waste we are generating, there is no alternative. This should be the uppermost thought in the minds of those dealing with plastics,” Mr Naidu signs off hoping that soon manufactures and dealers of plastic will come up with solutions and citizens will also utilise plastic with a sense of ownership.
In Numbers: Plastic Waste And Its Crisis
India is responsible for producing a whopping amount of plastic waste – 5.6 million tonnes, out of which more than 50 percent is a single-use plastic waste like plastic bottles, bags, straws, to name a few. The worrisome part, our country accounts for 60 percent of plastic waste dumped into the world’s oceans every year. Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra are among the top ten rivers which carry 90 per cent of plastic to the world’s oceans. Though nearly 26 states in India have imposed a blanket or partial ban on plastics, it still remains one of the biggest environmental challenges for the country as most of these bans have not become successful and still, manufacturers and dealers are struggling to find viable alternatives to plastic.
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.