Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday launched a scheme to buy back non-recyclable, single-use plastic waste with a minimum support price of Rs 75 per kg at a function to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
As per estimates, the total plastic likely to be collected would be about 75,000 kg and the budget required for it would be about Rs 2.81 crore. The non-recyclable waste comprising polythene bags will be purchased from the rag-pickers, households and urban local bodies.
Since October 2, 2009, there has been a complete ban on the use of polythene bags. The single-use plastic buyback scheme got the cabinet nod on September 16. At a function here to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Mahatma, Thakur said the plastic was not only an environment hazard but also a health threat for humans and animals.
He said the state has already imposed ban on use of plastic bags and cutlery made of plastic and thermocol. Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said there was a need to adopt Gandhiji's humanistic message and ideology in life.
"We are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation as 'Swachhata Hi Seva' campaign and also this day is being celebrated to perform 'Shramdaan' to eradicate plastic waste," he said. He expressed happiness that Himachal Pradesh is the first state to tackle the threat of plastic and other non-biodegradable waste.
The Governor said the polythene waste collected through various awareness campaigns being run in the state is being used as an alternative in road construction and as fuel in cement kilns.