RACE, the special five-day campaign to raise awareness for the elimination of single-use plastic, ended on Sunday with a conclave on plastic waste management at the Indira Gandhi Pratisthaan (IGP) in Lucknow.
The closing day of RACE coincided with the International Plastic Bag Free Day which is celebrated on July 3rd.
The campaign was launched by the State Government’s Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Urban Development in collaboration with GIZ India.
RACE stands for reduction, awareness, circular solutions and mass engagement.
In his video message, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, spoke about the threat that single-use plastic poses to the environment.
“The waste generated by single-use plastic is not only harmful to animals, but also to humans, and tends to affect the whole ecosystem. Therefore, the RACE campaign and the conclave is an initiative to spread the message among the masses. At the conclave, plastic substitutes were exhibited that we can adopt in our daily lives,” he said.
“Mother Nature should be our inspiration for the 3Rs – reduce, recycle and reuse. The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. Bodies of water evaporate, form clouds, and then rain down. , we should recycle and reuse,” said Urban Development Minister Arvind Kumar Sharma, the main guest at the conclave, praising the housewives’ management skills.
He said of the 3Rs, reduction is the most crucial. “If we reduce the use of plastic, there will be no need to recycle and reuse it,” he said.
“Thousands of stray cattle have died from the consumption of toxic polymers. I urge everyone to refrain from using it and help enforce the single-use plastic ban. Cleaning up litter is everyone’s responsibility,” he added.
“I am happy that with the help of the FORCE campaign initiative, 5,000 tonnes of waste has been collected. Because it is not biodegradable and takes 500 years to break down, it is more dangerous than the benefits it provides. It also depletes soil fertility and pollutes water. If we make efforts together instead of years, it will only take a few months to clean up. I am relieved to see young minds finding solutions to such problems with their creative ideas,” he said.
Three best municipal entities were congratulated for their work. Lucknow came first, Kanpur finished second while Ghaziabad and Agra were third.
Manoj Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, Stephan Grabherr, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, Amrit Abhijat, Principal Secretary, Development Department urban were among those present.