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Arunachal holds stakeholders’ consultation meet on banned single-use plastic items

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has on June 28 notified that India will ban manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items from July 1

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Itanagar: In the wake of the Govt of India ban on the single-use plastic items, the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday held a stakeholders’ consultation meeting in a bid to promote ‘alternatives’ to the banned single use plastics at the Civil Secretariat here.

Following the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to phase out single use plastic items by 2022, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has on June 28 notified that India will ban manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items from July 1 – a defining step to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste.

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The list of banned items includes – ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice- cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packaging films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.

The consultation meeting, held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (Environment, Forests and Climate Change) Dr Sharat Chauhan, discussed the measures to smoothly implement the ban order as well as to identify and promote the products that can substitute the banned plastic items. The State Bamboo Mission presented an exhaustive list of bamboo and cane based finished products that immediately substitute the several of the banned single-use plastic items.

The Arunachal State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ArSRLM) briefed the stakeholders about the prospects for harnessing the potential of the women self-help groups in taking up district focused projects for development and promotion of alternate products for banned items with the help of technology.

Post threadbare discussion, the stakeholders decided to aggressively carry out awareness programmes at institutional as well as community levels for promotion of non-plastic substitute products; involve mass media such as Doordarshan, All India Radio and others in promoting awareness about the environmental damages caused by the single-use plastics; potential of nature based products among the range of substitute products for banned items, taking the benefit of the natural resources available in the State to be tapped in a sustainable manner as it can promote a nature based green economy as well.

It was also decided to aggressively promote the ‘vocal for local’ campaign and exhorted for promoting nature based products such as bamboo and cane products, paper bags, recycled paper bags, ‘carry own shopping bag’ campaign, Kokam/Okam leaves (Phyrnium capitatum), banana/kopak (Musa sp.) leaves, Talang/Telli (Hedichyium sp); promote substitute products backed by relevant institutional and policy measures under the new startup ecosystem in collaboration with the Industries Department; and stakeholder specific awareness programmes, exhibition of alternate products in other cities and districts in the State to promote awareness as well as green economy value chains.

The consultation meeting concluded with a mini exhibition of various kinds of bamboo based substitute products for the banned single-use plastic items developed by the State Bamboo Mission. It was attended by the Chairman, State Bamboo Mission, representatives of Itanagar and Pasighat Municipal Corporations, senior officers from DoEFCC, Industries Dept, Arunachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Itanagar Capital Complex DC, Arunachal Police, ArSRLM, representatives of Swachh Bharat Mission, and office bearers of Itanagar Market Welfare Association, Banderdewa Bazar Welfare Committee, and All Arunachal Pradesh Vegetables, Fruits, Fish, Meat Wholesaler & Retailer Welfare Association, among others, an official communique said.

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