VIJAYAWADA: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has called for a mass media campaign to bring behavioural changes in people on plastic waste disposal. The problem is not with plastics, but in the attitude towards its handling, he observed. Addressing the students, faculty and staff of the Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Vijayawada on Monday, the V-P expressed concerns about the environmental challenges posed by the durability and longevity of plastics.
Stressing the need to follow the best practices of plastics waste management and create awareness about ‘3R’ — reduce, reuse and recycle — he noted, “The solution is not to avoid plastics, but to ensure that it is used responsibly and recycled properly.” Citing the example of the Swachh Bharat Mission, he called for a similar nationwide campaign to educate people on single-use plastics and wanted media, civil society organisations, students and activists to be an integral part of the drive.
He state that the plastic recycling market in India is estimated to grow at a rate of 6.5 per cent and will attain a market capitalisation of $ 53.72 billion by the end of 2023. Calling polymers as ‘wonder’ materials, the Vice-President said they have increased the quality of life immensely and become an important part of the global economy due to their low weight, durability and resourcefulness.
Venkakaih Naidu also spoke on the importance of plastic during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as it has been used extensively in manufacturing. Polymers are also being used widely to create medical tools and devices such as insulin pens, IV tubes, implants and in tissue engineering as well.Observing that the demand for polymers is growing by 8 per cent, Naidu said the global petrochemical industry is projected to reach $958.8 billion by 2025.
He opined that government programmes like Make in India and Start-up India will go a long way in creating the ecosystem for the next-generation research and indigenous technological advancements in the petrochemical sector. He praised CIPET for its contribution to national development through its diversified activities in the area of skilling programmes, technical support services, academics and research and development. Naidu fondly recalled his association with CIPET, Vijayawada, as he laid its foundation in 2016 along with then minister for chemicals & fertilizers and the chief minister.