Ramesh not in favour of blanket ban on use of plastic

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Amid a debate on environmentalhazards caused by the use of plastic, Environment MinisterJairam Ramesh today disfavoured a blanket ban on it across thecountry but said it could be area specific.

"I don''t think India can afford to take a position onblanket ban on plastic all over the country. I am not infavour of a blanket ban on plastic all over the country," hetold reporters after a discussion with industrialists on thesubject organised here by FICCI.

However, he said there can be specific areas where theuse of plastic could be discouraged.

Ramesh said his Ministry is in the process ofnotifying the plastic waste management rules.

"We have the objective of minimising the environmentalhazards caused by the large scale disposal of plastic waste.

At the same time we don''t want to kill the plastic processingindustry, which is very important in terms of employmentgeneration in our country," he said.

"The objective of the plastic waste management rulesis not just to manage the environmental hazards caused byplastic disposal, but also to ensure that we don''t kill theplastic industry," he said.

Noting that hazardous waste management is a veryserious issue, the Minister said though 6 million tonnes ofhazardous waste is generated in the country every year, only2.5 million tonnes of it can be recycled.

"So we have to increase the facilities for treatment,storage and disposal of hazardous wastes and we have to ensurethat these are done in environmentally sustainable manner," hesaid.

He said there was a lot of discussion on convertingwaste into energy as the Municipal solid waste management isbecoming a very serious environmental challenge.

Both the Ministry of Urban Development and Enviornmentand Forests should address that challenge, Ramesh added. PTITGB

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