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World Oceans Day 2021: Centre Launches A Two-Month Long ‘Plastic Hackathon’ Campaign On Plastic Waste Management To Save Oceans

With an aim to find innovative solutions to the problem of plastic waste in the country, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched a two-month long ‘plastic hackathon’ targeting students and households to come up with alternatives for plastic and to improve plastic waste management

World Oceans Day 2021: Centre Launches A Two-Month Long 'Plastic Hackathon’ Campaign On Plastic Waste Management To Save Oceans
Highlights
  • June 8 marks World Oceans Day to raise awareness about crisis facing oceans
  • Plastic waste has emerged as a serious threat to the environment: Experts
  • Plastic litter has harmed aquatic ecosystems: MoEFCC

New Delhi: With an aim to raise awareness about the rising plastic pollution crisis facing the land and oceans, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has launched a two-month-long campaign on the occasion of World Oceans Day, which is marked on June 8 every year. The day aims to inform the public about the adverse effects of human actions on the oceans. While launching the campaign, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the country is taking all steps to ensure that it becomes free of single-use plastic by 2022 as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also Read: World Oceans Day 2021: Ministers, Celebs, Environmentalists Urge People To Help Save Planet Earth By Saving The Oceans

The two-month-long ‘Plastic Hackathon 2021’ campaign focuses on plastic waste management and elimination of identified single-use plastics. While launching the campaign, Mr. Javadekar said that plastic litter has adverse impacts on not only terrestrial but aquatic ecosystems also. He said,

Prime Minister Modi pledged to make the country free of single-use plastic (SUP). We took several steps in that direction. The import of plastic waste has been banned. The states have been directed to ensure no use of SUP. Several states have already stopped using single-use plastic. We have notified plastic waste management rules under which plastic below 40 microns thickness cannot be used. We have also directed states to take action against companies producing plastic carry bags under 40-micron thickness.

According to Mr. Javadekar the campaign will be targeting all citizens including children and will be encouraging young innovators to come up with suitable alternatives to single-use plastics and identify new ways of plastic waste management. Mr. Javadekar took to Twitter and wrote,

Behavioural change among citizens and availability of alternatives to single-use plastic items are vital for the successful phase out of identified single-use plastic items.

Also Read: World Oceans Day 2021: Sand Art At Odisha’s Puri Beach Calls To ‘Preserve Ocean, Life And Livelihoods’

Giving details about the Plastic Hackathon 2021, Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary, MoEFCC said that under the campaign a series of events will be organised on reducing plastic waste generation, recognising the need of effective plastic waste management, increasing the awareness of suitable alternatives, sustainable consumption and production and extended producer responsibility.

Till the time online classes are going on for schools and colleges various activities like essay competitions will be organised for students with an aim to sensitise them on the issue of plastics, said Mr. Javadekar.

Experts have highlighted multiple times that plastic waste has emerged as a serious threat to the environment. Priti Mahesh, Chief Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link, a group of environmental activists working for environmental justice and freedom from toxins, said, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, plastic pollution has increased manifolds. She added that plastics waste littered on land is recognised as a major source of marine plastic waste found in oceans. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organisation working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, has warned that at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in oceans every year and make up at least 80 per cent of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.

Also Read: World Oceans Day Special: A Photo Feature On The Impact Of Plastic Pollution On Life On The Planet

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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