‘Everyone should take responsibility to make India free of single use plastic’: Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said, “We have to take this movement to every village and to every child and ensure that India becomes free of single use plastic.”

He made the statement at an event organized by FSSAI as a part of ‘Swachhata Hi Seva 2019’ at Prayas Children’s Home in Jahangirpuri, New Delhi.

The Union Health Minister further stated that if everybody takes the responsibility then this could be achieved.

At the event, 22 of the top food companies including multinational companies committed themselves to effectively managing plastic waste in their operations and to reduce their plastic footprint in the coming years. They also signed a pledge to re-affirm their commitment.

Citing the example of polio to highlight multi-stakeholder approach, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated “All of us have to take up this responsibility in our own capacities. I believe that together we will be able to develop new approaches to combat challenges to both health and the society,”

Highlighting the critical importance of a Jan Andolan on issues around food safety, Dr Harsh Vardhan reminded the participants about ‘Green Good Deeds’ and said that ‘Green Good Deeds’ are small positive actions to be performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection.  

“We have drawn up a list of over 700 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility. These small, positive actions which include shunning the use of single-use plastic, to be performed by individuals or organisations will strengthen the cause of environmental protection”, he stated.

He also mentioned that we all should do our own bit as responsible citizens of the society and it is our duty to gift the future generations a cleaner and greener environment. In addition, he also mentioned that we must continue to work in this direction and only stop when each household is plastic waste free and help achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of a Naya Bharat (New India).

Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is also the Minister for Science & Technology, stated that scientists at the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun have used technology to successfully convert one tonne of plastic waste into 800 litres of diesel every day.  Such initiatives shall have multi-fold benefits, with reducing the plastic waste in the country, while also making it worthwhile and financially viable for the ragpickers to collect plastic waste which can be converted into fuel.

The event organized at Prayas Children’s Home and Skilling-Livelihood Centre, Jahangirpuri in North-East Delhi aims to give a big push to the move on plastic waste free India with support of various stakeholders including policy makers, food and beverage sector, industry associations, celebrities and consumer organizations.