Ending plastic disposal on land, water ultimate goal: Top goverment official
Speaking on the government initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastic beginning Gandhi Jayanti on Wednesday, which has repeatedly been spoken of by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other cabinet ministers, Environment Secretary C K Mishra said it will certainly have results.
"Our end goal is, whatever plastic is used must not be thrown on land and water. It must be recycled. It's a great moment for this country, this entire exercise is led by the prime minister himself. It will certainly have results.
"We will sensitize people about ill-effects of plastic and urge people to reduce it. We will start talking to people, industry and others to find alternatives to single-use plastic and emphasise hugely on recycling whatever we are using," Mishra said.
PM Modi had in August urged people to observe the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 as a day to begin efforts to make India plastic-free.
However, some ministry officials on Wednesday said there was no publicity campaign or event being held to mark the movement.
"No such event to launch the campaign or mass movement to ban single-use plastic is taking place today,” a ministry official said.
At an event on Monday, the environment secretary had said, "October 2 onwards, under the Swachh Bharat campaign, entire country will start collecting plastic items from houses, roadsides, riverside etc and industries will pick it up and take it to recycle or to the cement plants and dispose it of."
He had said that the ministry has on several occasions issued advisories to every state on what are the actions to be taken at the government level.
The secretary had said that there is a need to ensure that by 2022, single-use plastic is eliminated from the society.
The prime minister had on two occasions — on Independence Day and during the 14th conference of parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) hosted by India last month — said it was time to say "goodbye" to single-use plastic and urged people to try curb its use from October 2, 2019.
In guidelines issued to states and Union territories earlier, the environment secretary had said all government offices must completely ban all types of plastic carry bags, thermocol disposable cutlery and discourage the use of artificial banners, flags, flowers, water bottles, plastic folders, etc.