India's Modi calls for crackdown on plastic pollution

He praised India for its growing focus on environmental protection but also noted that while traveling in the country he'd seen "some of the most lovely scenic places, but destroyed by plastic pollution".

THE Ministry of Development (MoD) launched the "Plastic Bottle Free Initiative" in conjunction with the World Environment Day celebration yesterday, making it the first government agency in the country to implement the green practice.

This global outlook, developed in cooperation with the Indian government, presents case studies from more than 60 countries.

At a recycling plant outside Tokyo, workers in face masks pick through an unending torrent of plastic rubbish, fuelled by a national obsession with pristine packaging - and famously strict rules that ensure much of it is reclaimed and reused. Around half of all plastic consumed is single use, meaning it immediately becomes waste if not recycled.

"Targeted levies and bans - where properly planned and enforced - have been among the most effective strategies to limit overuse of disposable plastic products", the report said.

For more than a decade, Rwanda has raised awareness about the benefits of life without plastic bags to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

"It is estimated that the total volume of all plastics ever produced is about 8.3 billion metric tonnes, of this, about 6.3 billion metric tonnes is now waste-80 per cent of which are in landfills, and in the natural environment" he stated. While no single measure against pollution will be equally effective everywhere, the report outlines a set of universal steps for policymakers to tackle the issue in their communities.

The call is coming on the heels of the 2018 World Environment Day slated for June 5, with the theme: "Beat Plastic Pollution".

By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

THE Federal Government has disclosed that a National Policy on Plastic Waste management will be enacted soon as part of the efforts to mitigate environmental pollution in Nigeria. Estimates predict that the manufacturers will generate around three hundred and sixty million tonnes of the plastic this year itself.

The World Environment Day was first introduced by the United Nations in 1974 and since then it has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. "Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live".

"India and China, frankly speaking, are in the lead of solving their environment issues, obviously there had been challenges", he said.

"Marine litter, especially micro-plastic, is a major trans-boundary problem".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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