New Delhi: The Centre has asked States to phase out single use plastic as soon as possible. Apart from several measures suggested by the Centre, States and Urban Local Bodies have also been advised to enter into MoUs with nearby cement plants or other industrial units to ensure that a part of the plastic waste is used either as alternative fuel in cement plants, or for road construction purposes.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has issued a detailed advisory to States and UTs to take up a range of activities from June 5 which is World Environment Day and swing into campaign mode in a bid to make the country free of single use plastic (SUP).
“Given the dual mandate of World Environment Day and India’s committed ban of SUP by 30th June 2022, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has issued a detailed advisory to States and UTs to take up a range of activities to fulfil these mandates. These will include large scale cleaning and plogging drives, with special emphasis on plastic waste collection, as well as large scale tree plantation drives, with participation of all citizens – students, voluntary organisations, self-help groups, local NGOs/CSOs, NSS and NCC cadets, RWAs, market associations, corporate entities, etc,” the HUPA ministry said.
Every ULB is required to adopt 100% source segregation of waste in order to reduce plastic and dry waste ending up in dumpsites or water bodies. HUPA said that while 2,591 ULBs (out of 4,704) have already reported notification SUP ban as per the directions of Central Pollution Control Board and MoEF, States/ UTs will need to ensure that the remaining 2,100-plus ULBs notify the same by June 30.
As per Plastic Waste Management (Amended) Rules, 2021, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than seventy-five microns in thickness has been banned from September 30, 2021 as opposed to fifty microns recommended earlier under PWM Rules, 2016. As a consequence of this new provision, citizens are now encouraged to desist from using thin plastic carry bags provided by street vendors, local shopkeepers, vegetable sellers etc. and use alternative options.
In accordance with the PWM (Amended) Rules, 2021 a range of complementary initiatives will also be taken up to strengthen enforcement. ULBs will need to identify SUP-alternatives (such as cloth/jute/plastic bags, degradable cutleries, etc.) readily available in the market and create awareness about such alternatives among citizens. Corporate entities, dealing with bottled drinks may be requested to set up Bottle Banks where users can get paid for dropping off PET bottles, and also set up subsidized reusable plastic bottle booths at different locations, as part of their Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) mandates. Alongside, ULBs may establish bag kiosks to provide citizens with alternatives to SUP, especially for use in public meetings and festivals, thereby helping to reduce SUP consumption. These initiatives may be deployed in all public places, markets, and other high footfall areas to spread awareness against use of SUP and for availing SUP-alternatives.
States and ULBs have also been advised to enter into MoUs with nearby cement plants or other industrial units as well to ensure that a part of the plastic waste generated is used either as alternative fuel in cement plants, or for road construction purposes. For the latter purpose, ULBs or their Public Works Departments will need to come out with detailed guidelines for use of SUPs/multi-layered plastics in road construction....