PM Narendra Modi’s anti-plastic drive faces Gujarat pushback

PM Narendra Modi’s anti-plastic drive faces Gujarat pushback

PM Narendra Modi’s anti-plastic drive faces Gujarat pushbackGANDHINAGAR: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will observe the World Environment Day on June 5 — the theme of which is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ — his home state Gujarat is unclear about the ways to tackle the plastic menace. In fact, Gujarat seems disinclined to ban the production or consumption of plastic items.
Maharashtra has banned the use of plastic, but the Gujarat government is citing the probable loss of jobs to avoid such a measure. Gujarat has no significant short- or long-term plan yet to ‘beat plastic pollution’. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board, despite criticism from the high court, is not equipped to deal with plastic pollution.

 Gujarat’s minister of state for environment Jaydrathsinh Parmar reportedly opposes the ban on plastic as most industries that depend on it operate from his assembly constituency of Halol. There are around 150 plastic bag manufacturing units in Halol. Mahesh Pandya, an environment activist, said: “Instead of merely focusing on publicity, the Gujarat government needs to ban plastic like Maharashtra and Sikkim have done.” Pandya went on to say: “It is unfortunate that the state’s environment minister himself is trying to protect plastic manufacturing units, which produce banned category of plastic.” Pandya said that the government needs to think of the state’s future and switch to non-plastic packing. “If Gujarat is really a model state, why is the state government not banning plastic?” he said. “Citizens and industries can be motivated by various means to ditch plastic, as has been done in many developed countries.”

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