Puri (Odisha) [India], July 1 (ANI): Soon after the Central government banned the single-use plastic, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday appealed to people to avoid using it during the Jagannath Rath Yatra urging the citizens to turn the move into a "mass movement".
The rituals for the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath began in Odisha's Puri today. The participation of devotees in the Rath Yatra has been allowed this time after a gap of two years following the COVID pandemic.
Speaking to ANI, the Union Minister said, "The Central government has banned single-use plastic from today. We need an awareness campaign to turn this into a mass movement. I appeal to citizens to avoid using single-use plastic during the occasion of the Jagannath Rath Yatra."
"I appeal to youth to come and join this mass awareness campaign. It will be a great contribution to Lord Jagannath if we avoid using single plastic during this holy occasion," Pradhan said.
The ban on select single-use plastics by the Centre in order to reduce plastic wastage comes into effect from today.
Single-use plastics are typically items that are discarded after being used only once and does not go through the recycling process. They are a big contributor to plastic pollution.
The banned items include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns and stirrers.
A National Control Room has been established in the Central Pollution Control Board to monitor the enforcement of the ban, besides asking the state boards to undertake comprehensive Awareness activities including social media campaigns, and interactive meetings with industries, colleges, schools and other institutions.
The state boards have further been directed to intensify inspections of industrial and commercial establishments for effective implementation of the ban.
In line with the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to phase out single-use plastic items by 2022, the environment ministry had notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on 12 August 2021.
Carrying forward the spirit of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava' -- 75th year of Independence, a defining step to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste is being taken by the country.
Earlier, the government prohibited the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than seventy-five microns with effect from 30 September 2021, and having thickness less than the thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31 December 2022. (ANI)