Honourable PM Modi on Monday said time has come for the world to say “good bye to single-use plastics.”
“My government has announced that India would put an end to single-use plastics in the coming years. We are committed to development of environment-friendly substitutes and also an efficient plastic collection and disposal method,” Modi said, addressing an international gathering at the ongoing UN conference (COP14) on combating disertification.
India had, on the occasion of World Environment Day ast year, voluntarily pledged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022 — coinciding with 75 years of independence. Modi emphasised on how this can be achieved through people’s participation through awareness and behavioural change.
Citing example of ‘Swachcha Bharat Mission’ (Clean India Mission) where people from all walks of life took part and ensured expansion of sanitation coverage from 38% in 2014 to 99% now, the PM said, “Human empowerment is closely linked to the state of environment — be it harnessing water resources or reducing the usage of single use plastic. “The way ahead is behavioural change. It is only when all sections of society decide to achieve something, we can see the desired results,” he said. Praising youngsters for taking lead in ‘Swachh Bharat’, Modi said, “I am seeing the same spirit when it comes to ensuring the end of single-use plastics. Youngsters in particular are more supportive and are taking the lead to bring positive change. The media is also playing a very valuable role.”
In a media briefing, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said, “He (PM) has not said ban. He said ‘say good-bye’ to single-use plastics. He is not talking about all plastics. He is categorically making an appeal to people to say good bye to single-use plastics.” He said uncollected plastic waste was indeed a problem and therefore focus was also on collection and recycling of plastic waste. “There will be two movements. One on collection, recycling and management of all plastic waste and the other on say no to single-use plastic,” he said.