Port Blair, July 8: The Directorate of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Andaman and Nicobar Administration in collaboration with the Gram Panchayats of the Islands conducted extensive awareness cum sensitization drives on 08th July 2022 on Single-use Plastic in all the 70 Gram Panchayats. The programmes were conducted to sensitize the rural masses and commercial establishments in the UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands marking the importance of International Plastic Bag Free Day (i.e. 03rd July 2022) and with a view to create awareness on enforcing ban on manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic that has came into force across the country since 1st July 2022.

The banned items includes ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic bags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, plastic glasses and plastic cutlery.

During the events, awareness were created on the banned SUP (Single Use Plastic), alternatives of SUPs, harmful effects of plastic to human and marine environment.  Further, the rural public was also sensitized on the SWM Bye laws and effective ways of Solid and Liquid Waste Management. Following the awareness programme, inspection of market places were also undertaken by the Gram Panchayat level task force on Single-use plastic. Enforcement drives and imposition of fines shall also be undertaken by the State, District, Block and GP level task force committees in the various parts of the islands.