Plastic oceans predicted to triple by 2025

The Telangana government issued a letter on Thursday instructing all the municipal bodies across the state to stop plastic usage.

The letter from Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar issued guidelines to discontinue the usage of single-use plastic items, like plastic and tetra bottles, single-use straws, plastic/styrofoam tea cups/containers, plastic below 50 micron or plastic coated items and any other forms of single-use/banned plastic.

Kumar cited the example of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao who has stopped using plastic bottles in his office and switched to using steel tumblers.

As per the guidelines, government offices are required to shift to using steel/ceramic glasses for all purposes and stop stocking single-use plastic items in the offices. The ban also extends to cutlery such as spoons, forks and knives.

"No office shall be found to be in use or possession of below 50-micron plastic bags as mandated in the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016," the guidelines said. "Furthermore, it is mandated that all offices follow the twin bin system and dispose of plastic waste strictly in compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000 and guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) towards plastic disposal," the letter states.

The letter concludes by saying that the order comes into effect immediately. 

On the occasion of World Environment Day, the government of Himachal Pradesh announced that it was banning thermocol plates and plastic water bottles less than 1 litre in capacity. This is part of a country-wide movement to slowly phase out the use of single-use plastics that have caused immense harm to the environment.

This year's theme for World Environment Day was 'Beat Plastic Pollution', as several countries announced campaigns and programmes to replace plastics with other material. At the G7 summit, the UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy announced a new anti-plastic agreement. The pact was not signed by Japan or the USA.

[With inputs from ANI]