After the work on big schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission and HarGhar Jal, now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has officially launched a movement to end the use of single-use plastic in the country. In fact, on August 15, 2019, on the occasion of the 73rd Independence DayPMModi in his speech from Red Fort announced his mission to free India from plastic pollution.
He appealed to the masses especially the shopkeepers and traders to contribute in this mission. The PM said that the effort to release the country from plastic waste will take off simultaneously in the entire country from the Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2019. The Indian Railways have already begun a massive movement to rid the country of single-use plastic. But the question arises – what is single-use plastic and what products come under the ban?
List of six items banned in India
- Plastic carry bags
- Plastic cups and plates
- Plastic wrappers
- Plastic bottles
- Plastic straws
- Certain types of plastic sachets used in packaging
What is single-use plastic?
Single-use plastic basically refers to those plastic products which are used just once and then disposed of. Single-use plastic products include plastic bags, plastic bottles, straws, plates, plastic used in food packaging, gift wrappers and disposable cups of coffee and tea.
Around 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year. Of this, 150 million tonnes of plastic is single-use. At the same time, only 10 to 13 percent of the plastic can be re-cycled worldwide.
The degradation of the environment due to climate change and global warming is the biggest concern for the world at present. In such a situation, plastic pollution prevention and plastic waste management has emerged as a major issue. Several lakh tonnes of plastic is being produced every year, which is not biodegradable and is harmful for soil fertility and it also has after-effects on all living beings directly or indirectly. Most plastics are non-biodegradable and sometimes plastics break down and release toxic chemicals. Such chemicals reach our body through the water and food chain and cause serious problems. Therefore, countries around the world are devising stricter strategies to end the use of single-use plastics.
Keeping in focus the aforementioned facts the Equi-City team conducted two sensitisation campaigns in Nagpur specifically focusing on the ban of single-use plastic.
Equi-city conducts sensitisation campaign on October 2, 2019
The Equi-City team along with All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) organised an awareness and sensitisation campaign in Dharampeth Zone. The urban awareness campaign organised on October 2, 2019, focused on plastic pollution and covered around 800 households in the locality of Valmiki Nagar, Gokulpeth Market and Coffee House Chowk.
India imposed a nation-wide ban on single-use plastic on October 2, 2019, on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The use of the six listed single-use plastic items namely plastic bags, straws, cups, plates, small bottles and certain types of sachets are banned with effect from this day. The Equi-City team conducted a cleanliness drive by collecting plastic waste alongside the canal road and distributed pamphlets to citizens bearing message supporting the ban on single-use plastic.
The waste generation in Nagpur city is estimated to be around 1200 tonnes per day. Out of this, 60 per cent is estimated to be organic waste, 16 per cent is plastic waste, 11 per cent is paper waste, 11 per cent is wood, metal, glass and two per cent is inert material. The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and see that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery. Then reduced final residue is deposited scientifically in sanitary landfills. Sanitary landfills are the ultimate means of disposal for unutilised municipal solid waste from waste processing facilities and other types of inorganic waste that cannot be reused or recycled. Equi-City team along with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is mobilising the community for waste management by conducting sensitisation workshops for swachhta karmacharis in Nagpur.
Equi-City’s sensitization campaign on October 8, 2019
The awareness campaign was conducted on October 8, 2019 at Deekshabhoomi by the Equi-City team. The campaign focused on spreading awareness among people about the implementation of single-use plastic ban.
The campaign occurred before Dhammachakra Parivartan Din (October 14, 2019) for which a large number of people visit every year. Around 8,000 to 10,000 people were present in and around the Deekshabhoomi on the day of campaign to celebrate the Dhammachakra Parivartan Din.
The worst form of single-use plastic is the multi-layered packaging used in sachets for packing and storing tobacco products such as gutkha. Many other eatables like chocolates, biscuits, chips and liquid food products are packed in them.The nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets began on October 2 to eliminate single-use plastic from cities and villages that rank among the world’s most polluted.
The campaign started early in the morning at the control center with the motivating words from the Commissioner. The Equi-City team was led by Shekhar Giradkar by explaining the motive of the campaign and starting to reach out to people in different stalls to make them aware about the plastic ban. Many shopkeepers were not aware about the notice of NMC regarding the ban on single-use plastic. The team not only made them aware of the ban but also distributed pamphlets with information about the single-use plastic. Those who weren’t aware of the ban were requested to get familiar with the NMC’s orders and act as soon as possible.
The campaign was a huge success considering the participation level. The opinions and valuable comments were helpful to understand the perspective of common people who shared their ideas supporting the ban. The campaign was much appreciated by the Commissioner and his team for spreading the message of banning single-use plastic.
Equi-City launches its mobile app for citizens
The Municipal Rating System Mobile Application under the Equi-City Project was formally launched on Google Play Store for open downloads by both the citizens and the officials. The mobile application consists of basic information about the city of Nagpur along with Prabhag/Ward wise Corporator details with contact information. There is also a component of a questionnaire-based survey on the basis of which level of satisfaction of the citizens on services will be judged and will help in better decision making towards the improvement of services in the wards lagging behind.