In furtherance of the call of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to stop usage of single use plastic from 2nd October, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) while supporting the move has already launched a nationwide campaign among trading community from 1st September,2019 titled “Say No to Plastic” and is all set to make it a mass movement from. Having a rapidly increasing adverse impact on environment, the Prime Minister is repeatedly making appeals at different national and international forums for his resolve to ensure no usage of single use plastic and it reflects how the Government is serious about this move and therefore traders being last mile connect with 130 crore people of the Country needs to be educated and aware-said the CAIT.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that however, the Government should also look in to the rehabilitation of thousands of industries producing plastic giving employment of tens of lakhs of the people in the Country. If alternate is not provided to them then there will be chaos and unemployment in the Country. On the other side, the Govt should direct MNCs & Corporate sector not to use single use plastic either in their production line or packing of finished goods. The CAIT has issued an advisory to traders across the Country that from 2nd October instead of plastic bag, they should start using cloth or jute bags charges of which can be collected from consumers or advise the consumers to bring such bags with them. They have urged Union Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javedkar to convene a meeting with all stakeholders to make this campaign a success.
CAIT National President Mr..Bhartia &Mr. Khandelwal said that as per a study of Central Pollution Control Board and other Institutions about 26 Metric tonne of plastic is generated per day the weight of which is equivalent to 9000 elephants or 86 Boing Jet 747 which is quite alarming. Out of this about 11 Metric tonne of plastic remain uncollected. As per the report 1/6th of plastic waste generate from 60 cities and half of the share generate from five Metropolitan cities Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Chennai & Kolkata. The uncollected plastic waste ends up in natural environment like sea, ocean or piling up on land. Not only this the plastic waste choke drainage & river system, soil & water pollution, indigestion by stay animals, littering of the marine eco system. One most common thing particularly in rural and semi urban areas id open burning of plastic waste which leads to adverse impact on health & environment. The share of plastic waste is about 8% of solid waste management with Delhi producing the maximum quantity followed by Kolkata & Ahemadabad. It is a grave concern that only 60% of the total plastic produce is recycled and rest 40% contributes adverse impact on environment which is quite substantial.
They further said that Packaging has the largest share of 43% in plastic use followed by 21% in infrastructure, 16% in Auto sector, 2% in Agriculture and 18% from other sources.The Households generates maximum plastic waste in which water & soft drink bottles forms a large portion. About 43% manufactured plastic is used for packaging purposes and most of them are single use. The average Per Capita consumption of plastic in the Country is about 11 Kg as against global average of 28kg and US 109 Kg. It is a concern that seas near Mumbai, Kolkata and Andman & Nicobar Islands are among the worst polluted seas in the World. By 2050, the amount of plastic in seas and oceans across the World is estimated to weigh more than fishes.
As per one another report the plastic processing industry is estimated to grow to 22 million tonnes per year production by 2020 from 13.4 Metric Tonnes in 2015 an half of this production is single use plastic
Not only the plastic we consume through traditional retail, the online retail and food delivery apps, are not legging behind in contributing to the rise in plastic waste. The kind of packaging generated with every food order is huge since these apps deliver even a single piece of any food item but wrapped in plastic. As per an estimate several leading Online delivery companies are delivering 28 million orders per month each generating huge plastic waste. As per CEO of a food online delivery company the orders through food delivery aggregators add up to 22,000 Metric Tonne of plastic waste every month.
Likewise E-commerce companies are also responsible for excess use of plastic packaging and therefore E Commerce Companies & Online food delivery Companies should be made responsible for the plastic waste they generate otherwise they will continue to contribute in rising plastic waste in the Country. These internet companies ar covered under the ambit of extended producer responsibility norms of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 but due to no monitoring system they are using the plastic for their advantage.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 aimed to improve legislation and made every local Government Agency to be responsible for setting up infrastructure for segregation, collection, processing and disposal of plastic waste. The Rules were further amended in 2018 introducing a clause of extended producer responsibility and accordingly the producers including manufacturers, importers and those using plastic in packaging as well as Brand owners would be held responsible for collecting of the plastic waste.
Shredded plastic waste can be used in laying roads.In 2015-16, the National Rural Road Development Agency laid around 7,500 km of roads using plastic waste.
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that the Government should consider to adopt some best practices followed in cities like Bangalore where Dry Waste Collection Centres have not only been established but also have a self-sustainable business model. There is a need to establish a monetized collection model for plastic waste that has economic returns for all those involved. Virgin plastics (e.g. those used in food packets, etc) should be collected separately because of the higher value it draws. The Government should ban import of plastic and a third party audit for monitoring mechanism needs to be set up. They also said that Plastic users should be provided with feasible alternatives, which are not costly and made aware of these options. Industry should also be pushed to work on R&D to work on packaging alternatives, provided with time to work on this and given targets to phase out different types of plastic