Plastic waste gets high profile due to the PM's speech

By 23 Aug 2019

With an aim to prevent environmental degradation due to plastic waste, P Raghavendra Rao mentioned Prime Minister Modi's speech on 15 August in which he urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic and requested shopkeepers to provide eco-friendly bags to its customers.

(Second from right) P Raghavendra Rao, IAS, secretary, DCPC, Government of India

Rao made a similar request during the 8th Speciality Films & Flexible Packaging Global Summit in Mumbai about single-use plastic. Plus he extolled the industry to have innovative technologies which can deal with plastic waste.

He said, he read in the newspapers that the Parliament has banned use of plastics. He clarified, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has banned the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament complex. He said, "People are confusing single use plastic with plastics. Today, it is very difficult for modern society to live without plastic. The question is: how do we control the plastic waste?" 

Rao said it is imperative for the government and industry to address the issues of plastic waste in a responsible manner. He hinted that there is a lot of talk about "plastic being evil" and it is not a very balanced argument. This is because the benefits that come from plastics are being missed in the conversation" He urged the industry leaders to look at innovative solutions and groundbreaking work being done to reduce plastic waste by creating plastic materials that help that."

His message for the audience was: We all have the same goal – more recycling and no litter, and we must consult with all the stakeholders in the supply chain on how to achieve it.

Rao mentioned a committee which has been created with one of the retired senior secretaries, Indrajit Pal. He hoped there would be clarity for the industry and in which way the country should progress. 

Rao said, "The ministry is going to create a dashboard. We have identified 12 key performance indicators. This will ensure everything is monitored properly so that we can achieve our objectives."

Rao's message was: one of the main drivers for the government of India is eco and climate sustainability. Plastic waste is a key concern area. Rao hoped, the industry is looking at new materials since some of the materials are not bio degradable. Plus there is an opportunity to implement new waste strategies and work on our recycling."

P Raghavendra Rao is a Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer of the 1985 batch. He is the secretary, department of chemicals and petrochemicals, government of India.

Tags: Plastic

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