In one of the first initiatives to promote eco-alternatives to banned single use plastics and innovation and startup ecosystem in the country, the National Expo on alternatives to banned single use plastics items and Conference of Startups -2022, was inaugurated today at Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, in the presence of Shri Siva V Meyyanathan, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Youth Welfare and Sports Development, Government of Tamil Nadu.
On this occasion, a video message of Shri Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, was played out, inaugurating the Expo and Startup Conference – 2022. The Expo and Startup Conference have been jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and Government of Tamil Nadu.
Union Environment Minister Shri Bhupender Yadav, in his message, highlighted that mindless consumption in place of mindful use of resources, has led to the presence of littered and unmanaged plastic waste. Uptake of eco-friendly alternatives such as jute, and bamboo, and moving towards an environmentally conscious lifestyle are required to address the issue.
More than 150 manufacturers of eco-alternatives from across the country are participating in the Expo. The Eco-alternatives included items made from natural fibers such as coir, bagasse, rice and wheat bran, plant and agricultural residue, banana and areca leaves, jute and cloth. The National Expo is open to the public, school and college students, entrepreneurs, and manufacturersof eco alternatives to banned single use plastic items. The Expo and Conference of Startupswill spread mass awareness on the availability of eco-alternatives and provide a platform for startups for scaling up their solutions.
Representatives from State Governments, State Pollution Control Boards,concerned central Ministries, financial institutions and banks are participating in the Expo.Along with the Expo, A Conference of Startups working in the area of alternatives to single use plastics and air quality management has also been organized along with the Expo. The Conference of Startups will provide a platform for exchange views amongst innovators and institutions, and Government Departments supporting startup ecosystems in the country. Thematic sessions on marine plastic litter – issues, challenges and way forward and manufacturing of eco-alternatives have also been organized.
India took a defining step in addressing the challenge by banning identified single use plastic items, which had high littering potential and low utility, from 1st July 2022. Awareness of the alternatives to banned single use plastic items and their availability is the key to the success of the ban.