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Green Initiatives for Effective Plastic Waste Management- UPSC Current Affairs

Apr 14, 2022


Today we will talk about the Green Initiatives for Effective Plastic Waste Management in our daily edition of the Current Affairs Dialog box. Navigate through the blog to enhance your UPSC Exam Preparation and also get an idea of the topic’s relevance to the CSE syllabus. 

Prelims: Prakriti, National Dashboard on Elimination of Single-Use Plastic, Plastic Waste and Related Initiatives.

Mains: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Government Policies & Interventions, Plastic Waste and Related Initiatives.

Click here to read yesterday’s edition of the Current Affairs

Why in the News?

Recently, The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched the awareness mascot ‘Prakriti’& other green initiatives for effective plastic waste management.

Probable Question

Discuss the major challenges and possible solutions to Plastic Waste Management.

Green Initiatives for Effective Plastic Waste Management

Image Source: Times of India

Key Points

  • Mascot ‘Prakriti’ has been launched to spread mass awareness about how the adoption of small changes in our lifestyle can play a big role in environmental sustainability. 
  • It also teaches about various efforts and initiatives that the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has taken in order to ensure effective Plastic Waste Management (PWM) in the country.

Launch of other green initiatives:

  • National Dashboard on Elimination of Single-Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management (MoEFCC):
    • This aims to connect all stakeholders including Central Ministries/ Departments, State/UT Governments, etc. through one platform and track the status and progress made for elimination of single-use plastic & effective management of plastic waste.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Portal for Plastic Packaging (CPCB):
    • This portal will look after tasks that will help in overall operational functions like improving accountability, traceability, transparency and facilitating ease of reporting compliance to EPR Obligations by Producers, Importers and Brand-owners.
  • Mobile App for Single-Use Plastics Grievance Redressal (CPCB):
    • This app will allow citizens to check sale/usage/manufacturing of single-use plastic in their region and tackle the plastic menace.
  • Monitoring module for single-use plastic (CPCB):
    • This will be for local bodies, State pollution control board/PCCs and CPCB, etc. to inventorize details of single-use plastic production, its sale & usage, etc. in commercial establishments at the district level, and on-ground enforcement of ban on single-use plastics.
  • Industrial production of Graphene from Waste Plastic:
    • It will promote more industries to come forward to upcycle plastic waste.

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About Plastic Pollution

  • Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g., plastic bottles, bags and microbeads) in the Earth's environment that adversely affects humans, wildlife and their habitat.

Types of Plastic waste

  • Microplastics are small plastic pieces of less than five millimeters in size.
    • Microplastic includes microbeads that are used in cosmetics and personal care products, industrial scrubbers which are used for aggressive blast cleaning, microfibers used in textiles, etc.
  • Single-use plastic is a disposable material that can be used only once before it is either thrown away or recycled, like, plastic bags, water bottles, and soda bottles, are sources of single-use plastic.

Plastic Waste Generation in India

  • Plastic has become one of the most pressing environmental issues that we are facing today.
  • India is generating about 3.5 million Tonnes of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years. 
  • Plastic Pollution adversely affects our ecosystems and is also linked to air pollution.
  • 45% of plastics produced in India today are single use.
  • The plastic processing industry is estimated to grow to 22 million tonnes (MT) a year by 2020 from 13 .4 MT in 2015 and nearly half of this is single-use plastic.

Impact of Plastic Waste

  • Plastic pollution is a widespread problem. It threatens ocean health, the health of marine species, food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change.
  • Impact on climate change: Plastic production contributes to climate change. If plastic waste is incinerated, it releases carbon dioxide and methane (from landfills) into the atmosphere, thereby increasing emissions.
  • Impact on tourism: Plastic waste damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased income from tourism
  • Impact on food and human health: Several chemicals used in the production of plastic materials are known to be carcinogenic and to interfere with the body’s endocrine system, causing developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune disorders in both humans and wildlife.
  • Poor Drainage: Drainage system clogged with plastic bags, films, and other plastic items, causes flooding.
Impact of Plastic Waste

Image Source: IUCN.org

Efforts made by Government to tackle plastic pollution

  • To tackle the challenge of plastic pollution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s pledge to phase out Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) by 2022.
  • Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change announced the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, which notified the instructions on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging.

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