PANAJI: Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar has announced ‘India Plastic Challenge’ competition for startups and students to develop innovative alternatives to single-use plastics, according to a press release by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

“Under the rules plastic carry bags below 50 microns have been banned. Many states/UTs have also banned identified single use plastic items. Further, the Ministry has issued a draft notification in March 2021 for amending the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, with respect to prohibiting identified 12 single use plastic items such as disposable plastic cutlery etc,” stated Javadekar.

Stressing the importance of public participation in elimination of single-use plastic items, the Environment Minister said that awareness generation on plastic waste management and reduction in use of single use plastic items is vital in bringing about behavioural change. With this mission the minister launched a two-month awareness generation campaign on plastic waste management and elimination of identified single use plastic items.

GIZ, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, are organising the two-month long awareness campaign which will comprise of four online regional events and a social media campaign to spread the message of mitigation plastic pollution to wider audience. The regional events will include interactive sessions on various themes related single-use plastics and plastic waste management and cover wide range of stakeholders from local bodies, pollution control boards, industry, civil society organisations and citizens.

To spur innovation and entrepreneurship in area of tackling plastic waste pollution and elimination of single use plastic, Javadekar announced the “India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021”. The “India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021” is a unique competition calling upon start-ups /entrepreneurs and students of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop innovative solutions to mitigate plastic pollution and develop alternatives to single use plastics.

Further in order to engage with and reach out to school students across the country and spread awareness about plastic pollution caused by littered single use plastic items, a Pan-India Essay Writing competition for school students was also announced.

The virtual event was also attended by R P Gupta ,Secretary, Ministry of Environment ,Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Government of Germany and Dr. Dechen Tsering, Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific, UN Environment Programme along with Secretary General, FICCI, Head, UNEP India Country Office and Country Director, GIZ India.


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