Panel to give final report on single-use plastic: DVS

Panel to give final report on single-use plastic: DVS

D V Sadananda Gowda

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said on Thursday an expert committee formed to look into the issue of banning single-use plastics (SUPs) would submit its final report soon. He said the committee had submitted an interim report.

He said the final report would be ready on September 30 or October 1 and that he would have a detailed discussion with the Environmental Ministry so that a proper plan could be evolved.

Speaking after inaugurating a boys' hostel of the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering Technology (CIPET) here, Gowda said the single-use plastic was littered everywhere causing environmental hazards, hence it needs to be banned.

But, it doesn't mean that total polymer or plastics are being banned. "Polymer industry caters to the entire spectrum of daily use items and almost every sphere of our life. Use of plastics has to be stopped means it may not be possible nowadays...plastic plays a major role in day-to-day life of each and every individual. So, awareness has to be created on single-use plastics and littering of plastic waste has to stop," the Minister said.

Pursuant to the current strategy of ban of single-use plastics, the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals has received representations from several states, plastics industry associations, who raised concerns, Gowda said. To address this situation, an expert committee consisting of members from policy-makers, industrialists, academicians, and researchers in the field of polymers and allied materials was formed in studying various strategies of utility of SUPs and its impact on ban, he said.

"The committee has already submitted the draft report and made a presentation before me. I am going to receive the final report before October 2 so that we will give a new idea to the whole society what exactly is the ban of single-use plastics, and what all things that we need to let go in future as far as polymer technology is concerned," he said.

Littering of single-use plastics has to be stopped for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed serious concern over their use and gave a clarion call towards making the country free of single-use plastics.

"On October 2, we shall wage a war against single-use plastic littering, and we want to see that whole country should take it as a movement, he said adding his department was also organising mass cleanliness drive and awareness campaigns in 80 locations through CIPET for collecting littered plastic waste.

The Minister further advised CIPET to take up R&D initiatives in new technology for recyling, cost-effective material developments, eco-friendly alternative material developments.

CIPET has 36 centres across the country and five more centres were in the pipeline, he said.

During 2014-2019, about 3.13 lakh unemployed and underemployed youth were trained and benefited through training programmes and "we intend to train five lakh more in the next five years," Gowda added.

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