India to join Clean Seas Campaign: PM

India to join Clean Seas Campaign: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the exhibition on the occasion of World Environment Day, in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

India is preparing to join a global campaign to make the oceans litter-free, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated the global 'Clean Seas Campaign' at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia, last year, urging governments to pass plastic reduction policies and instruct industries to minimise plastic packaging and redesign products.

The UN body also appealed to consumers to change their "throwaway habits" before irreversible any damage is done to the seas.

"Marine litter, especially micro-plastic, is a major trans-boundary problem. India is preparing to join the Clean Seas Campaign and make its contribution towards saving our oceans," the prime minister said.

He was addressing the plenary session of the World Environment Day, hosted by India this year. The theme of the event was 'Beat Plastic Pollution."

UNEP executive director Erik Solheim shared the dias with the prime minister at the event and praised India for its efforts towards beating plastic pollution in the country, giving credit to Modi's leadership.

"You are doing a fantastic job," Solheim said while addressing the event attended by environment experts and other dignitaries from different parts of the world.

During his address, the prime minister highlighted various initiatives taken by his government towards achieving a "sustainable and green" development of the country including national 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,' which has "a special focus on plastic waste management".

He, however, insisted that the per capita plastic consumption in India was "much lower than in many parts of the developed world".

"As part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the world had agreed to the theme of 'Leave No One Behind'. This is not possible without ensuring that we all come together to protect what mother nature has given us. It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment," he said.

During the event, heads of various public sector undertakings, including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and corporates took pledge to beat plastic pollution through various initiatives.