Ladakh: In line with the government’s efforts to eliminate single-use plastic, the Ladakh administration has decided to ban Single-Use Plastic (SUP) from July 1st this year.
At a meeting on Saturday, SFT Chairman Umang Narunal took the decision on Saturday and also discussed the action plan for the elimination of SUP in the UT.
Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change amended the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, which will prohibit identified single-use plastic items that have “low utility and high littering potential” such as polystyrene and expanded polystyrene from July 1st, 2022.
The Central Pollution Control Board has also prepared a Comprehensive Action Plan, after a survey in Leh and Kargil, to eliminate the manufacturing, storage, selling, and usage of SUP items.
“The Comprehensive Action Plan encourages hotels to install water filtration plants to reduce plastic water bottle usage to the extent of 80 percent,” said the statement.
UT also plans to establish recycling plants to convert plastic waste into construction blocks.
Similarly, a sustainable procurement policy draught was also discussed to help procurement of identified sustainable products.
Earlier, in December 2021, Narula had directed all the concerned departments to prepare an integrated and holistic action plan within the prescribed deadlines in the thematic format circulated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.
Narula had also asked the Ladakh Pollution Control Committee to spread awareness about recent amendments made to the Plastic Waste Management Rules by widely publicising them.
According to the Ladakh administration, around 101.1 kg of prohibited plastic has been seized from various violators.
In view of increasing plastic pollution in the area, the administration has increased the thickness of plastic bags to 75 microns from 50 microns, and any non-woven plastic carry bag is to be no less than 60 grammes per square meter.
The tourist spots in Ladakh are witnessing heightened plastic pollution with the increasing number of tourists visiting the cold desert region, and this has raised concern in the administration.