Guidelines have been issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic. The move comes just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a mass revolution against single-use plastic from October 2 marking Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. 

It has been stated in the guidelines that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it with “environment friendly substitutes.” It has directed that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastic in canteens, hostels, and shopping complexes. 

“Carry out awareness drives and sensitization 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 state.

It also emphasized the institutions to encourage the students to keep clean their respective households about the harmful effects to plastics and make their households ‘plastic-free’. Universities and colleges were also requested to adopt policies and make their campuses plastic-free.

The guidelines also ask the higher education institutions, which have adopted villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, to undertake a campaign in their adopted villages till they are converted into ‘plastic-free villages’ through promoting awareness and encouraging the shift to alternative products.

During the speech on Independence Day, PM Modi urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic, besides suggesting that shopkeepers should provide eco-friendly bags to the customers. He made the same opinion in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” to join hands in restricting single-use plastic.

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