Norway hails India’s single-use plastic ban; lauds PM Modi for taking “important step”

Martine Aamdal Bottheim, Norway’s charge d’affaires on Friday welcomed the Centre’s decision to implement a ban on single-use plastic in India and hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the ‘important step’ on July 1. The Norwegian envoy highlighted the issue of the ocean and air pollution, saying, “We share the oceans and we share the air so this is a global problem,” adding that it is critical that India succeed in its efforts.

“I would really like to congratulate India and Prime Minister Modi for this important step of banning single use plastic items. This will reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in nature and in the oceans. And it will also reduce the amount of plastic that needs to be collected and recycled into the sea and it comes into the air that we breath,” the Norwegian envoy stated, ANI reported.

She further added that Norway had already banned plastic items last year and that its Embassy had recently held a workshop with Indian municipalities to share lessons learned on how to manage plastic waste. On July 1, the Centre issued guidelines to states requesting that they prohibit the use of certain single-use plastics.

Accordng to ANI, speaking about the steps taken by the Norway embassy, the envoy said, “What we have done here at the Embassy today is that we have decided to eliminate single-use plastic items in our premises, including some that are not on the lists in India, like plastic bottles and I feel that the colleagues at the embassy are very supportive and very enthusiastic about this.”

India’s single-use plastic ban

The ban on single-use plastic went into effect on July 1. The Union Environment Ministry stated that in a bid to smoothly implement the ban on single-use plastic, state governments will launch an enforcement campaign and close down units engaged in the production, distribution, stocking, and sale of such items. Single-use plastics are generally items that are discarded after being used only once and are not recycled. 

The new reform includes earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, and stirrers. The negative effects of littered single-use plastic items on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are widely acknowledged.

Image: PTI/ANI

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