This Independence Day, the Prime Minister urged the citizens of the country to curb the use of single-use plastics, starting 2nd October.
Why are single-use plastic a problem?
Single-use plastic items are discarded after being used once. They are made from very low-grade plastic and cannot be recycled, hence they do not command value in the scrap market.
Given their low cost of manufacturing along with growing consumerism and demand for convenience products and services, the generation and use of single-use plastics has sharply increased in recent times, putting increasingly immense pressure on the state’s overburdened waste management system.
Ultimately, this waste is found dumped or burnt along the road or discarded into rivers, finding its way into our oceans. The rivers Indus and Ganga are among the 10 rivers that deposit 90% of the plastic waste into the ocean.
PM’s Address to the Nation
Acknowledging the problem, Modi said, “We should first take an important step to finally bid goodbye to plastic”. He invited start-ups to recycle plastic and develop technologies for the use of recycled plastic.
During his Mann Ki Baat address on 25th August as well, he urged municipalities, gram panchayats, government, and non-governmental bodies to strive towards ensuring adequate arrangement for the collection and storage of plastic waste.
Modi said “We shall lay the foundation of a new revolution against plastic, by the effort of people throughout the country. We have to commit ourselves towards cleanliness at public places. This time our emphasis must be on plastic.”
Some states including Karnataka have already instituted a ban on single-use plastic.
We are happy to see the Prime Minister personally address this problem on the national stage and “nudge” the nation towards more responsible behaviour. However, we are keenly looking forward to October 2, for some strong policy intervention in this direction.