In keeping with the countrywide ban on certain single use plastics (SUP) with effect from July 1, 2022 as notified by the Government of India; the State Government of Jharkhand on July 22nd launched an IEC (Information Education Communication) and BCC (Behaviour change communication) campaign to reinforce the ban.
The move comes at a time when state governments across the country are initiating enforcement campaigns to identify and pull the plug on units engaging in production, distribution, stocking and sale of such items.
SUP items that are banned as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, Government of India include earbuds, plastic sticks for balloons, flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, thermocol, plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packaging films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners of less than 100 microns and stirrers.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Neha Arora, Director of Directorate of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), Drinking Water and Sanitation Department, Government of Jharkhand asked all functionaries of SBM-G Jharkhand to create an environment promoting a total ban of the use of SUPs in rural areas.
“It is our prime responsibility to stop the use of SUPs so that our villages become ideal ODF Plus villages. There is a urgent need to support all people during this campaign, so that the mission is successful,” she said.
She referred to the SBM-G Phase II guidelines that call for the effective management of solid and liquid waste, adding that there was adequate funding for all activities.
As per the campaign, activities being carried out are – rallies promoting ban of SUPs; workshops, training and capacity building of village communities so they refrain from using plastics; resolutions of GPs to ban use of SUPs, wall paintings and slogans to curb the use of plastic.
According to official data, several district consultants and block coordinators are working at village level bans of SUP with the help of different stakeholders. Supporting the campaign with full enthusiasm are committee members of the Village Water and Sanitation Committees and Self-Help Groups from the Department of Jal Sahiya.