Say no to plastics: What is single-use plastic and why has Modi called for a war against it?
New Delhi, Sep 15: Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry has decided to ban single-use plastic in its various departments as well as the public sector units under its administration from today, i.e September 15.
The decision was taken at a meeting held by Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
What is single-use plastic?
Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery. Plastic packaging is mostly single-use, especially in business-to-consumer applications, and a majority of it is discarded the same year it is produced. Such plastics are problematic because they are not biodegradable.
Ban single-use plastics
Paswan announced "a blanket ban on all types of single-use plastic products" in the ministry as well as PSUs, including Food Corporation of India (FCI) from September 15.
The decision on this was taken in a high-level meeting with secretaries of both the departments i.e. Consumer Affairs and Food, CMD of Food Corporation of India, DG Bureau of India Standards, MD of CWC, Director Legal Metrology along with other senior officials of the ministry.
Paswan asked the officials to make alternate arrangements to ensure that the ban is effective, an official statement said. Moreover, the department said, it distributed cloth bags to employees to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.
"Department of Fertilizers is committed to do its utmost efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. As these are non-biodegradable they pollute our environment," it said.
The department termed it as a small step to reduce single-use plastic usage and, to make people aware of viable alternative, while at the same time to improve the income and livelihood of rural women of India.
What did PM Modi say?
Prime Minister Narendra once again urged the countrymen to get rid of single-use plastic by October 2 to save the environment. The October 2 deadline comes in the wake of the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The reported announcement on October 2 is going to be the first step - and certainly the most ambitious in the world - towards the pledge that the PM Modi took in his Independence Day speech.
Anand Mahindra replaces plastic bottles in Company's boardrooms
And Mahindra who is known to be extremely responsive on social media, has replaced the use of 'plastic bottles' with refillable metal bottles in meeting rooms. Talking about the product, he tweeted that the group has come up with refillable bottles to replace the plastic bottles in the meeting rooms. Not only are they functional, but also, are aesthetic.
Corporate India gears up to ban single-use plastic
The most recent entrant to the plastic ban club is state-run Air India, which has prepared an action plan to stop single-use plastic onboard its flight. Except two flights across its network, the national carrier plans to replace individual-sized 200 ml water bottles with larger 1,500 ml water bottles in all its flights. The Delhi airport said that its single-use plastic items include water bottles, packaged food, juice and cold drink bottles. Other airports are expected to follow suit. Major Marriott International said that it is phasing out miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in favour of larger, pump-topped bottles at its 7,000 properties worldwide by December 2020.