Bhubaneswar: The widespread use of single-use plastic and disposable items has created major challenges around the globe today. To prevent the plastic burden on the state and preserve nature, the government of Odisha has initiated a special awareness program – ‘Plastic Free Picnic’. Under this program, awareness is being made among students, youth and general public to make major picnic spots across the state plastic-free.
With the onset of winter, huge footfall is being experienced at various picnic spots in the state. Once done, plastic plates, bowls, glasses, spoons, snack jars, thermocol plates and polythene are left strewn around the picnic spot which is very harmful to the environment. Hence, the state government advises picnic goers to use eco-friendly materials while having a good time.
“Green and clean environment is essential for good health. Now is the time for everyone to be making efforts on how to protect the environment. During picnic, one must pay attention towards the use of reusable materials and how to keep the environment clean. Let’s all come forward to create a healthy environment for the future generations.” said Pradeep Kumar Jena, Chief Secretary of Odisha on the occasion of the plastic-free picnic campaign.
This time, while planning a picnic, instead of plastic and polythene, you can use leaf plates, leaf bowls and steel crockery. Similarly, instead of tissue paper, you can take cloth handkerchiefs or towels and cloth bags with you. It is requested to use dustbins instead of littering around the picnic area.
The ‘Plastic Free Picnic’ campaign is being organized by the State Pollution Control Board, Odisha under the Forest Environment and Climate Change Department. Lending support to the campaign, actor Sabyasachi Mishra has appealed the people to shun plastic items during picnics. We can enjoy our gatherings without harming the environment, he opines.
Garbage consisting of single use plastic & polythene is non-biodegradable. This harms the fertility of the soil & also pollutes the groundwater. Open dumping of Plastic & Polythene harms the environment and all species of the local ecosystems. . ‘Plastic Free Picnic’ campaign will be helpful for sensitizing people on all such environmental hazards.
Nature heals us, let’s not ail her with our plastic and other litter, said, Ranjan Panda, founder of Youth4Water, who is popularly known as Odisha’s Water Man.
This year, it has been decided to check the use of single-use plastic and polythene at 176 major picnic spots. Local volunteers, members of eco clubs and women SHGs have been engaged to inform people regarding these vital issues. ‘Youth4Water’, a voluntary organization, is playing an important role in implementing this awareness campaign at grassroots level.
The state government had earlier set a ban upon the use of single-use plastic & polythene carry bags of any shape, thickness size within all the Municipal Limits of the State, carry bags of size not less than 120 microns in thickness with effect from 31st December 2022 Moreover, the use of Plastic & Polythene at various picnic spots is banned.