Centre to launch grievance app Prakriti against single use plastic 

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The per capita plastic use in India is about 9.7 kg, mostly packaging material.

Approximately 43% of plastic is used for packaging, with the majority being single-use in India.

India is the fifth highest generator of plastic waste in the world.

New Delhi: The central government on Tuesday will launch “Prakriti,” a grievance app, a “green initiative on plastic”  with the goal of ridding the country of single-use plastic (SUP) by 2022.

The App will be launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEF & CC) Bhupender Yadav and MoS Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, any person who will see the manufacturing, sale, and usage of single-use plastic in their areas can report or share their grievances by using this app.

In a tweet, the Central Pollution Control Board said, “CPCB is gearing up to welcome MEF & CC, Bhupender Yadav and MoS EF & CC, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, for the launch of “Prakriti” and green initiatives in plastic on April 5, 2022.”

India will implement a blanket ban on certain single-use plastic items from July 1, 2022, following its 2019 resolution to address plastic pollution in the country.

The prohibited plastic items include earbuds, flags, candy and ice-cream sticks, decorative thermocol, PVC banners less than 100 microns thick, stirrers, wrapping films, cups, glasses, and cutlery, among others.

Additionally, no plastic carry bags less than 120 microns thick can be used after December 31.

According to a fact sheet released by the environment ministry and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERFI), a think tank, approximately 43% of plastic is used for packaging, with the majority being single-use.

The per capita plastic use in India is about 9.7 kg, mostly packaging material, the central pollution body estimates.

According to the annual report on the implementation of plastic waste management rules, 2019–20, it is observed that the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years.

The report said, Goa, Delhi, and Kerala have reported the highest per capita plastic waste generation, and Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura have reported the lowest per capita plastic waste generation.

Earlier, the Union Environment Ministry notified the extended producer responsibility (EPR) guidelines for plastic packaging waste.

To be implemented from July 1, the new regulations mandate  the recycling and reuse of a certain percentage of plastic produced by manufacturers, importers, and brand owners.

Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had said, “the guidelines would promote the development of “new alternatives to plastics and provide a roadmap for businesses to move towards sustainable plastic packaging”.

Registering with the central and state pollution control boards has also been made compulsory under the new rules.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandate the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimise it, ensure its segregated storage at source and hand it over to local bodies or agencies.

The rules cast Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on producers, importers, and brand owners for the collection and recycling of plastic packaging waste. The guidelines specify three categories. 

According to UNEP, India is the fifth highest generator of plastic waste, consuming 13 kg of plastic per head compared to more than 100 kg in the USA.

According to UNEP, plastic production soared from 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, becoming a global industry valued at $522.61 billion, and it is expected to double in capacity by 2040.

Under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit), greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use, and disposal would account for 15% of allowed emissions by 2050.

More than 800 marine and coastal species are affected by this pollution through ingestion, entanglement, and other dangers.

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