NEW DELHI: A ban on single-use plastic has been issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to be imposed across the higher education institutions of the country. The move comes ahead of the mass revolution against single-use plastic that will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from October 2, that will be marking Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Systematic banning of the use of plastic on the campus of the institutions and replacing them with “environment-friendly substitutes” are stated in the guidelines. Banning single-use plastics in canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises will be made mandatory.
The guidelines stated carrying out awareness drives and sensitization workshops on the detrimental impacts of single-use plastics, mandating all the students to refrain from bringing non-biodegradable plastic items to the institution and installing important alternative facilities like water units to avoid using plastic.
The institutions are also asked by the UGC guidelines to encourage the students to create awareness about the pernicious effects of plastics in their respective homes and make it plastic-free. With these guidelines, an effort to advocate the universities and colleges to adopt practices and policies towards cleaner, greener, and plastic-free campuses is being made.
The guidelines also urge the higher education institutions to undertake campaigns in the villages that they adopted under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan until they are transformed into ‘plastic-free villages’.
While issuing the guidelines, the higher education regulator talked about how plastic waste adversely impacts the soil, water, health and the well-being of citizens at large and has emerged as one of the biggest environmental concerns. They stressed on the need for a systematic campaign to reduce the usage of plastics by using whatever spread and influence one has to educate the students and households on the need to avoid plastic usage.
In his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister had prompted the citizens to stop using single-use plastic, besides suggesting that eco-friendly bags should be provided by the shopkeepers to the customers. PM Modi urged all the citizens in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” address to come together and join hands to curb the use of plastics to make the environment combat climate change.