Odisha has banned single-use plastic keeping in view the health and environmental issues it causes.
In a significant development, Odisha government has adopted the Union Government best practice of proscribing single-use plastic in government offices and has further advised other State Governments not to use PVC flex boards in government institutions. The Government of Odisha had issued orders way back in September 2019 banning the use of single-use plastic in Government offices.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued an advisory to the State Government in this regard and asked for eliminating the use of single-use or short life PVC flex, banners and posters in all government institutions and offices.CK Mishra, Secretary Environment, Forest and Climate Change has informed the decision of the Union Government in view of the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb single-use plastic and phase out use by 2022.
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), plastic polymer is a non-biodegradable material and if burnt, it releases toxic fumes such as toxins, furans, etc, which are very harmful. Harmful toxins may get bio-accumulated in the food chain of the ecosystem causing serious hazards to human health and the environment.
Odisha has banned single-use plastic keeping in view the health and environmental issues it causes. What followed this notification was elimination in a big way the use of plastic in government offices. Department of Forest and Environment has taken several steps and Directorate of Environment has been proactively pursuing the matter, thanks to overdrive by K Murugesan, Director Environment.
Murugesan has categorically said cloth banners, lightweight textile fabrics, wrinkle-resistant wrap knit, natural fiber-based sandwich boards, resin-infused paper, and particle board can be used. Such a step will help to strengthen resolve to combat plastic pollution in the State.
Now, all government offices are free of single-use plastic. Use of PET water bottles, plastic cups and plates is neither there in the offices nor in course of official meetings. Since water purifiers have been installed in different offices, officers and staff are taking water for their use by using stainless steel or glass bottle. The same practice is also followed for official meetings during which glass bottles and paper cups are used.No plastic folders or flex banners are used in day to day official work, meetings, and functions. Paper folders are now made available for use in government offices.
Meanwhile, Urban Bodies have also issued orders which say that PVC flex should not be printed or used for government functions, private or religious events, cinema promotion or advertising. Cloth, paper and polyethylene material that can be recycled are being used replacing PVC. Cloth with plastic coating should not be used, pointed out an officer.