World Environment Day (June 5): Push to curb plastic usage

Bengaluru: Ahead of the World Environment Day (June 5) where India will be the global host, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has approved series of regulatory measures and launched awareness programmes for minimising usage of plastic, including its collection, reuse and recycling.

United Nations environment chief Erik Solheim on his recent visit to India signed a letter of intent on India hosting the World Environment Day.

The ministry has banned plastic in any form in all protected areas. The letter addressed to the principals across the country reads, "I would like to request the schools and its authorities to undertake environment awareness programmes so that the schools become plastic free."

The ministry has also decided to certify those schools that claim to be plastic free as 'Green Schools' and will award them with a certificate of honour. The school authorities are requested not to encourage plastic items such as plastic water bottle, plastic cups and plates. "Adopt a water body, pond, wetland, beaches or eco-sensitive area etc in or around schools/colleges and make them plastic free. Cleanliness drive in the surrounding areas be undertaken on various occasions including prescribed holidays such as on Environment Day, Earth Day etc," the ministry directs. Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has reposed his faith in schools and colleges in making the country garbage free and has requested the academic institutions to provide him with suggestions in the innovative endeavour by the ministry.

The theme for the World Environment Day is ' Beat Plastic Pollution'. 

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