J&K mulls ban on single-use plastic products

J&K mulls ban on single-use plastic products

Will give time to stakeholders to switch over to biodegradable products: Secy Environment

In the face of growing environmental degradation and rising pollution levels, the state government is mulling to ban single-use plastics to protect the environment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Reliable sources informed Greater Kashmir that the state government plans to ban disposable cups, glasses, plates, bowls, bottled drinking water for small quantity and other avoidable products in a phased manner.

Sources said the executive department is planning in this regard to issue an SRO banning the use of single-use plastics, particularly bottled water and disposal cups, glass and plates in a phased manner.

Sources said the government also plans to conduct awareness drive on promoting use of reusable alternatives of plastic products.

“In the past, steel and other metal utensils were part of every occasion and function which has been replaced by low quality disposable plastics. It has been found that much of the garbage generated is composed of these disposable plastic products,” Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, commissioner secretary Forest, Environment and Ecology told Greater Kashmir, adding, “To contribute towards environment conversation we’re coming up with a policy to ban the use of plastic,”

He said the department has started it from its meeting, conferences, etc. where plastic is being avoided. “Other departments would be encouraged to bring their own cups during meetings to avoid the use of plastics,” he said.

Ruling out the possibility of overnight ban, the secretary said, “Marriage season (in Jammu) is round the corner and many retailers and stockiest have already dumped the stocks in advance, so it’s unfair to announce ban in a hurry.”

“We will issue an SRO and give two to three months’ time to all stakeholders for exhausting their stocks and switch over to alternative biodegradable products, like leaf and paper manufactured products,” he informed.

“The alternative of phasing out the use of plastic water bottles is to install more water filters and provide safe water in steel or glass products,” he added.

“This will go a long way to prevent the increase of plastics in our garbage,” he said.

Earlier, around 20 states have completely or partially banned use of plastic, Uttar Pradesh being the latest.

According to the estimates drawn by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates as much as 10,000 tonne per day of plastic waste with per capita generation of up to 5.7 kilos of plastic waste per annum, which is annually growing at a rate of 8-10 per cent.