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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Stop using single-use plastic bags: PM Modi’s appeal on Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called on technical experts, industrialists to invest in recycling single use plastic

india Updated: Aug 15, 2019 15:06 IST
Jayashree Nandi
Jayashree Nandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his Independence Day speech at Red fort in New Delhi on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his Independence Day speech at Red fort in New Delhi on Thursday.(Vipin/HT photo)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on people to stop use of single-use plastic bags in his Independence Day speech on Thursday.

“I request citizens to see if we can make India single-use plastic free from October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti). Schools, colleges, municipalities, urban bodies, gram panchayats can collect single use plastic bags from their areas and on October 2 we can take up the task of phasing out use of single use plastic bags in a big way,” Modi said.

He also called on technical experts, industrialists to invest in recycling single-use plastic. “Plastic bags are being used to make highways. Today, I request shopkeepers to put up boards in shops saying ‘don’t request plastic bags, get a cloth bag.’ Or shopkeepers can give cloth bags to customers. Cloth bags can be given out as Diwali gifts too,” Modi said. He added that jute and cloth bags can help raise farmers’ income.

 

Modi was conferred the “champions of the earth” award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for pledging to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022 and for leading the International Solar Alliance last October.

The union environment ministry is considering a uniform legislation on phasing out four single-use plastic products—styrofoam cups, plastic water bottles, disposable plastic cutlery and all plastic carry bags.

Also read:With a ‘high jump’ and $5 trillion target, PM Modi hints major reforms soon

Single-use plastic meant for packaging will not be covered by the legislation according to officials. The ministry had written to all state governments to come up with their own policy or guidelines for immediate phase out of these products last year.

The central legislation may be on the lines of the Maharashtra legislation. A punitive clause is likely to be included to ensure strict compliance with the central legislation but the ministry is yet to release the draft.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 15:06 IST

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