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India initiating a very large campaign to become plastic free nation: Modi


Press Trust of India New York
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told the world that India was initiating a very large campaign in the direction to make the country a plastic free nation.
Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly here, Modi called for the UN to be free of single use plastic.
"As I came in here, on a wall at theentrance to this building, I noticed the call to make the United nations freeof single use plastic," Modi said.
"I am pleased to inform this augustassembly that even as I am addressing you today, a very large campaign is beingstarted across the entire country to make India free of single useplastic," he said during his address.
India has been advocating for theelimination of single-use plastic for long and Prime Minister Modi has usedseveral international platforms to emphasise on the products ban.
During the G7 Summit in Biarritz inAugust, Modi highlighted India's large scale efforts towards eliminating single use plastic, conserving water, harnessing solar energy and, protecting floraand fauna for a sustainable future.
According to the Environment Ministry,about 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day in the country, outof which only 13,000-14000 tonnes are collected.
Experts have maintained that the problem lies in the inadequate collection and recycling systems. During his Independence day speech this year,Modi urged people to kickstart a new revolution against plastic from October 2,which would be the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and make India aplastic free nation.
He urged startups and experts to find ways torecycle plastic, like using it in building highways, and appealed toshopkeepers to have boards in front of their shops.
During the recently concluded 14thconference of parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)hosted by India this month -- Modi said that it was the time to say"goodbye" to single-use plastic urging people to attempt curbing itsuse.
In guidelines issued to states and unionterritories earlier, India's environment secretary had said all governmentoffices must completely ban all types of plastic carry bags, thermocoldisposable cutlery and discourage the use of artificial banners, flags,flowers, water bottles, plastic folders, etc.
The ministry had also notified Plastic WasteManagement Rules in March 2016 making source segregation of various types ofwaste mandatory.
Single-use plastics, also referred to asdisposable plastics (use and throw items), are commonly used for plasticpackaging and include items intended to be used only once, before they arethrown away or recycled, the ministry had said.
Single-use plastics include carry bags, foodpackaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 7:50 PM IST

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