Mascot ‘Prakriti’ launched to spread environmental awareness

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Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Tuesday launched ‘Prakriti’, a mascot to spread greater awareness among the masses about the small changes that can be sustainably adopted in our lifestyle for a better environment.

The mascot will also inform people about various green initiatives taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure effective plastic waste management (PWM) in the country.

India generates about 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years. Plastic pollution adversely affects our ecosystems and is also linked to air pollution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced India’s pledge to phase out single use plastics by 2022. The Environment Ministry has already announced that all single use plastics would be banned from July 1, 2022.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 were amended, paving the way for ban on import of plastic waste, ban on use of single use plastic from July 1, and increasing minimum thickness of carry bags from existing 75 micron to 120 micron by December 2022.

Stressing on the need for active public participation, Yadav also administered the ‘Swachh Bharat Harit Bharat Green Pledge’ to the gathering at the CPCB office here, where he launched e-governance portals and apps intended to ease issues related to plastic waste management.

The other initiatives launched included a ‘national dashboard on elimination of single use plastic and plastic waste management’ to bring all stakeholders, including Central ministries/departments, and state/UT governments at one place and track the progress made for the elimination of single use plastic and effective management of plastic waste; ‘extended producer responsibility’ portal for plastic packaging for improving accountability, traceability, transparency and facilitating ease of reporting compliance to EPR obligations by producers, importers and brand-owners; and a mobile app for single use plastics grievance redressal to empower citizens to check sale/use/manufacturing of single use plastics in their area and tackle the plastic menace.

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