Rajya Sabha Discussed Govt’s Efforts on Plastic Waste Management
Union Government is generating public awareness and undertaking campaigns on plastic waste management and elimination of single-use plastics in the country
Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha said that the Union Government through various central Ministries and government agencies has been involved in generating public awareness and undertaking campaigns on plastic waste management and elimination of single-use plastics in urban and rural areas of the country. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had launched Prakriti – Mascot on 5th April 2022.
Three videos of PRAKRITI have been made on elimination of single use plastics. These videos have been translated in 19 languages and have been shared with States and UTs for further dissemination. A dedicated webpage with all awareness material has been created for making available all information materials and videos for wider dissemination and use by stakeholders. An E-Pledge on Swachh Bharat Harit Bharat Green Pledge has been launched on My Gov Platform for generating public movement amongst citizens on 5th April 2022. A National Expo on eco-alternatives to banned single use plastics items and Conference of Startups – 2022 were organized jointly with Government of Tamil Nadu in Chennai on 26-27th September 2022.
Shri Choubey further added that the States and Union Territories have been asked to undertake regular enforcement drives to implement ban on identified single use plastic items and on plastic carry bags having thickness less than one hundred twenty microns, covering fruit and vegetable markets, wholesale markets, local markets, flower vendors, units manufacturing plastic carry bags etc. States and UTs have also been asked to undertake random checking at border checkpoints to stop inter-state movement of banned single use plastic items. A one-month long pan India awareness and enforcement campaign was undertaken for implementation of ban on identified single use plastic items from 1st to 31st July 2022. Special pan India enforcement drives was undertaken in months of October, November and December, 2022 by Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees.
In the written reply it was stated that during the enforcement campaign, non-compliance of the ban on identified single use plastic has been found in commercial establishments and manufacturing units including in small shops in local markets. Actions have been taken on the deviations, which include seizure of banned single use plastic items and levy of penalty. As per available information, the penalty levied during the enforcement campaigns is approximately Rs. 6,01,67,701/- and 8,04,501 kg. material was seized.