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Ban On Plastic: Universities fumble on use of environment-friendly substitutes

Gauhati University


GUWAHATI: Will universities in Assam be able to follow the UGC’s order to impose a blanket ban on use of plastic in their campuses?

Even though the State’s universities are ready to implement the order, the institutions have not yet worked out plans to use environment friendly substitutes to replace plastic.

“Unless and until we find out or innovate suitable substitutes, it is impossible to ban use of plastic. Use of plastic is now rampant at our campus. I do not know what plans are being chalked out by the university authority,” a senior teacher at Gauhati University said.

An official associated with the Gauhati University administration said the varsity has not yet worked on the use of environment friendly substitutes to replace plastic. “We will, however, follow the UGC order,” he said.

The similar is the situation with Cotton University, Dibrugarh University, Tezpur University & Assam University in Silchar. Private universities are also unsure about use of plastic substitutes.

The UGC has asked the universities and other higher education institutes to impose blanket ban on single-use plastic. The order comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a programme against single-use plastic from October 2.

The UGC guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it with “environment friendly substitutes.

It also mandates that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastics in canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises.

“Carry out awareness drives and sensitisation workshops on the harmful impacts of single-use plastics, mandate all students to avoid bringing non-bio-degradable plastic items to the institution, install necessary alternative facilities like water units to avoid the use of plastic,” the guidelines say.

The guidelines further ask the institutions to encourage the students to sensitise their respective households about the harmful effects of plastics and make their households ‘plastic-free’ The UGC guidelines are an effort to encourage the universities and colleges to adopt policies and practices towards cleaner and plastic-free campuses.

Also Read: Ban on Plastic Bag

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