How movement against single-use plastic is gaining strength

New Delhi (India), Sept 19 (ANI): India produces 26,000 tonnes of plastic every single day out of which over 10,000 tonnes remain uncollected! This data from the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPBC) 2012 estimate is evident enough to highlight that we are facing a grave concern - plastic. It was about a month ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat', stressed on the idea of bidding adieu to single-use plastic with an aim to make India plastic-free from October 2. And it didn't take long for House of Nanak, a dairy company, to follow the Prime Minister's lead as they introduced a clean-label milk brand 'Mr. Dairy' which strives to unite milk with health. The newly-launched label is making use of glass jars and bottles to supply milk in order to avoid plastic use. "We've been packaging it in our glass bottles not just because we want to ensure that we give the best to our clients, but also to practice a more environmentally conscious way of living," said Tushar Singh, its founder. The organisation is not only using glass containers but is also encouraging people to recycle. "We also promote the recycling of glass bottles by providing a discount on the next order for whoever returns the previously used bottles," he added. Not only organizations but individuals too are playing their part in reducing plastic waste. A group of people in Bangalore is making unique efforts to keep plastic at bay! In the era of abbreviations, this group of over 200 individuals believes in the policy of 'BYOC' - Bring Your Own Cutlery. "Whenever we go out we carry our own water bottles. Even when going out for a tea, we do carry a small cup to avoid piling up more plastic in the dustbin," said Raj Robinhood, a blogger from Bangalore. While their cutlery also includes minimal utensils like steel straws, the Robinhood army as they are known, also picks up waste to dispose it off properly. While the country is propelling the idea of banning single-use plastics, Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA) is equally focused on the collection, segregation, and recycling of plastic waste. "We are aggressively working in the field of reducing plastic waste. However, I believe that PM Modi's address about single-use plastic was misunderstood as he didn't emphasize on banning it but making India plastic-free which we are aimed at achieving by collecting, and sending the plastic waste for proper recycling," said Ashish Jain, Director of IPCA. "We have teamed with Dabur and in order to bring behavioral change in people and initiated 'My 10kg Plastic campaign,'" he added. The campaign is in line with a report claiming that every individual generates around 10 kg of plastic waste every year. The organisation has started a campaign wherein people call them for their waste to be picked up. "Our vehicles pick-up the waste, segregate it and send it for recycling. We get about 100 calls every day," he explained. The move to avoid single-use plastic was bolstered after Prime Minister's recent address, but some companies had already modeled plans to limit and recycle plastic. While some have shifted to biodegradable materials, others have refill schemes or packaging-less products on offer. Many companies have even opted for PET plastic- a relatively safer form of the material - for their packaging. "The Body Shop is currently undergoing a comprehensive review of sustainable packaging in a socially and environmentally viable way. We are incorporating 100% PCR material into some of 60ml, 250ml and 750ml bottles by the end of 2019," said Shriti Malhotra, CEO, The Body Shop, India. A few beauty brands even committed to replacing plastic microbeads with the natural ones. What more? Markets are already flooded with alternatives to sanitary napkins too, which add up to the plastic waste in the country. From period panties, made of cotton and bamboo, to washable pads, today markets are offering an eclectic mix of substitutes, you just to need to go out and mark your role in eliminating plastic! (ANI)