New Delhi [India], Nov 23 (ANI): Nearly one-third of an estimated 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste generated daily remains uncollected, Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javdekar said on Friday and noted that the collection of this plastic was a key issue to address environmental concerns.
The minister told the Lok Sabha that the uncollected waste spreads and remains in such a state for years which chokes drains and even reaches the sea.
"India generates 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes plastic waste every day and only one-third of it is collected," he said.
The minister said he will be calling a meeting of state environment ministers next month for better implementation of plastic waste management rules which were notified in 2016.
He said under them event organisers have the responsibility to collect the waste and give it to the recycler.
"If rules need to be changed, we can discuss," he said.
The minister said plastic has become a big problem. "In India, the average plastic consumption is 11 kg and it is 110 kg in the US. The issue is that of collection that does not take place," he said.
Javadekar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started a campaign against single-use plastic and has also encouraged people to collect plastic waste when they are out for exercise or run.
The minister said he talked to rag pickers, and that thin plastic bags and pouches of gutka are not picked by them.
He said single-use plastic includes carry bags that are less than 150 microns, small wrappings, packing films and cutlery, etc.
The minister said that they have constituted a marine plastic cell and have tied up with Norway, Germany, and Japan for bringing new technology.
He said the government has issued six notifications including for 'mobile waste management'.
"There are 120 crore mobile phones and phones are changed every two-three years which means 40 crore mobiles are put to disuse," he said.
Javadekar also laid stress on returning to the old habit of taking cloth bags to the market. (ANI)