The Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav today launched ‘Prakriti’, a mascotto spread greater awareness among masses about small changes that can be sustainably adopt in our lifestyle for a better environment, and various green initiatives taken by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure effective Plastic Waste Management (PWM) in the country, in the presence of Minister of State, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey and senior officials of the government.
To tackle the challenge of plastic pollution, the Prime Minister,Shri Narendra Modi announced India’s pledge to phase out Single Use Plastics (SUPs) by 2022. Taking the momentum forward and stressing on the need for active public participation, the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Changealso administered ‘Swachh Bharat Harit Bharat Green Pledge’ to the gathering.Plastic has become one of the most pressing environmental issues that we are facing today. India is generating about 3.5 Million Tonnes of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years. Plastic Pollution adversely affects our ecosystems and is also linked to air pollution.
Shri Bhupender Yadav urged everyone to join in the efforts to beat plastic pollution and work towards a better future. He appreciated the innovative solutions developed by start-ups entrepreneurs and students in India Plastic Challenge–Hackathon 2021 highlighting the immense talent and potential of India’s youth. Further, he informed about the recently released IPCC Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which focuses on mitigation measures to keep the world aligned to the Plastic Waste Management goals and what we can do to remain on the roadmap set by the Paris Agreement. In conclusion, the Union Minister said that the India sends a message of hope and optimism that humanity can meet the challenges posed by climate change and will be a part of the solution to climate change. Earlier, in Nairobi, the Union Minister had appreciated the efforts of MoEFCC and CPCB in launching e-governance portals & apps intended to ease issues related to Plastic Waste Management (PWM).
The Minister of State, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in his address said that the e-Governance portals of MoEFCC and CPCB such as the EPR portal and the mobile app for SUP grievance redressed launched today would go a long way in ensuring complete phase out of the single use plasticand realize the vision of our Prime Minister.He said that the success of any initiative lies in collective action and responsibility.He stated that a Jan Andolan is the need of the hour for phasing out Single Use Plastic with ‘SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’ as underscored by thePrime Minister.
During the event, following green initiatives for plastic waste management were launched:
- National Dashboard on Elimination of Single Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management (MoEFCC) to bring all stakeholders including Central Ministries/ Departments, State/UT Governments at one place and track the progress made for elimination of single use plastic (SUP) and effective management of plastic waste.
- Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Portal for Plastic Packaging (CPCB) for improving accountability, traceability, transparency and facilitating ease of reporting compliance to EPR Obligations by Producers, Importers and Brand-owners
- Mobile App for Single Use Plastics Grievance Redressal (CPCB) to empower citizens to check sale/usage/manufacturing of SUP in their area and tackle the plastic menace.
- Monitoring module for SUP (CPCB), for local bodies, SPCBs/PCCs and CPCB, to inventorize details of SUP production/ sale & usage in commercial establishments at district level, and on-ground enforcement of ban on SUP.
- Industrial production of Graphene from Waste Plastic (G B Pant NIHE & NRDC) to promote more industries to come forward to up cycle plastic waste
The event also saw felicitation of the winners of the India Plastic Challenge–Hackathon 2021. ThreeStart-ups/entrepreneurs category and four teams of students from Higher Education Institutions were awarded cash prizesof Rs. 5 Lacs and Rs. 1 Lakh respectively for their innovative ideas and digital solutions for plastic waste mitigation and elimination of Single-Use Plastics.
Later, an exhibition on Plastic Waste Management showcasing SUP alternatives and technology solutions wasinaugurated along with a newly established Fitness Centre and Daycare Facility for children of CPCB employees. A visit toCPCB laboratories and interaction with the Scientists was also held. The event witnessed participation from across the domain of plastic waste management including international organizations, research institutes, industry associations, Plastic Manufacturer Associations, Cement Manufacturers Association, civil society, young inventors & entrepreneurs, senior officials from MoEFCC& other concerned ministries and departments, Board Members of CPCB and virtual participation from Chairmen and Member Secretaries of State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees and IROs.