International Plastic Bag Free Day: More to be done for eliminating plastic pollution from Valley
SRINAGAR: From its manufacturing to ban, history of plastic bag has impacted world to a great extent. In 1933, polyethylene, the most commonly used plastic was created accidently at a chemical plant in Nothwich, England. It wasn’t in minds of people until 1997, when a researcher Charles Moore found that accumulated plastic wastes are threatening marine life. Plastic bags are also notorious for killing sea turtles, which mistakenly eat them presuming them as jellyfish. Single-use plastic and polythene pollution is becoming dangerous and creating health hazard issues across the world, including Kashmir valley. Divisional Administration has urged authorities to do more for eradicating plastic pollution from Valley. Although, a bit improvement is there in overall scenario in comparison to past, but a lot more needs to be done for curbing plastic pollution to save water-bodies and other sites.
International Plastic Bag Free Day inspire for adopting safer alternatives to demonstrate that a world, without plastic, is quite possible.
It is really an encouraging step that India has banned all type of single-use plastics from July 1, while juice & dairy products manufacturing companies have also been directed to use paper-straw instead of single-use plastic straws.
Recently, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha asked all Municipal Corporations of J&K to develop Smart Cities as Climate Smart Cities and launch yearlong campaign ‘City with Nature’ with public participation to prevent water, air and plastic pollution. He advised all Government departments to achieve the goals of bringing an end to use of single-use plastics besides strengthening Waste Management System.
As per the official data, there are no polythene producing units in Kashmir and I&C department has established 25 plastic alternative manufacturing units besides 150 of such units already exist. Notably, in Jammu & Kashmir use of polythene carry bags under SRO-122 under Section 17 of Jammu and Kashmir Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007 is totally banned. Srinagar & Jammu Municipal Corporations had also implemented Non Bio-degradable Material (Management Handling and Disposal) Act 2007 regarding ban on polythene carry-bags. Last year in July, J&K administration set-up a Special Task Force to eliminate single-use plastic pollution, chaired by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta and asked it to prepare an action plan for implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 and enforcement of ban on single-use plastic items and elimination of ‘Single-use Plastic & addressing issue of plastic pollution’ in J&K.