Govt. firm on phasing out single-use plastic: Minister

The State government is committed to acting against single-use plastic and ensuring that all urban local bodies have infrastructure to handle plastic waste, Minister for Energy, Forest and Environment Balineni Srinivasa Reddy has said.

“Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed the officials to take steps to phaseout single-use plastic and plastic waste in the State by 2022,” Mr. Srinivasa Reddy said after flagging off the vehicles transporting 30 tonnes of plastic waste meant to be used as fuel in the cement factories.

A.P. Pollution Control Board Chairman B.S.S. Prasad, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation Commissioner V. Prasanna Venkatesh, and MLA Malladi Vishnu were present.

As part of the joint initiative of the APPCB and the VMC, the first consignment of plastic waste had been sent to the UltraTech Cement factory in the district.

“With a view to making the State plastic-free, plastic recovery facilities have been put in place in 44 ULBs. The remaining 66 ULBs will also be equipped with the required facilities in phases,” Mr. Srinivasa Reddy said.

The initiative would not cause any burden to the VMC. It would instead help the cement industries reduce fuel cost, he added.

‘Cement units gain’

“Using plastic waste as fuel will help the cement units save 5% coal. Eight or nine of the 20 cement companies in the region have already taken up modifications to use plastic as fuel,” said Mr. Prasad.

Mr. Venkatesh said that plastic waste that cannot be recycled or reused could be used as fuel in the cement industries and, as per an agreement, plastic generated at the VMC’s recycling unit would be sent to UltraTech.