PM Narendra Modi has urged people to give up single-use plastic and towards that end, the first target date has been set as October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Centre proposes to collect and dispose of 10,000 t of single-use plastic objects from all over India by that date.
At an inter-ministerial meeting it was decided that all government departments and organisations, including educational institutions, will launch a nationwide campaign from September 11 to completely cut the use of such plastic articles. Each ministry will initiate awareness about putting an end to single-use plastics. The measures include complete discontinuation of single-use plastic water bottles, finding substitutes for plastic milk pouches and replacing plastic bags with jute or cloth bags in shops.
The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan in the HRD ministry, will also get involved in the plastic ban initiative. Top institutes will work with more than11,000 villages to identify development challenges and find solutions to fast-track sustainable growth.
A large portion of the 10,000 t of plastic collected will be recycled and reused. It is proposed that some will be used for building roads and some will be mixed with cement for construction.
The country uses about 13 million t of plastic and generates about 9 million t of plastic waste annually.