GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Environment Conservation
Context: As per the recent audit by CAG of MoEF&CC, it was found that the ministry has a mechanism to assess the generation of plastic waste, but none for its collection and safe disposal
Key findings of the CAG report:
- MoEF&CC has no action plan leading to ineffective implementation of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016
- Effective coordination between several pollution control boards (Central and State) and the ministry is lacking
- Lack of uniform method of assessment of plastic waste generation within a state
- The issue with the Rules: The Plastic Waste Management Rules framed by MoEF&CC lack comprehensiveness to give thrust to effective implementation and monitoring
Actions taken for plastic waste
Strategy by MoEF&CC for plastic waste control:
- Behavioural change
- Strengthening of the institutional system for the collection
- Segregation and recycling of plastic waste
- Engagement with producers, importers and brand owners through Extended Producer Responsibility
- Banning of SUP from July 1st this year (2022)
How are other countries dealing with single-use plastic?
- Consensus on SUP in UN: This year, 124 countries, parties to the United Nations Environment Assembly, including India, signed a resolution to draw up an agreement which will in the future make it legally binding for the signatories to address the full life of plastics from production to disposal, to end plastic pollution.
- 68 countries have plastic bag bans with varying degrees of enforcement
- Bangladesh: Bangladesh became the first country to ban thin plastic bags in 2002.
- China: China issued a ban on plastic bags in 2020 with a phased implementation.
- EU: EU bans certain single-use plastics for which alternatives are available.
- For more about Single-Use Plastic (SUP): Visit this link
- For issues with Pollution Control Boards: Visit this link
- For more about CAG: Visit this link
Q. What is single-use plastic and what are the concerns associated with it? How can it be successfully phased out in the country? (15M)