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Only 60% plastic waste is processed: Environment Minister

IANS | New Delhi |

Urging the states to work together for the country to achieve its environment targets within a year, the Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that only 60 per cent of 25,000 tonnes of “plastic pollution” generated daily gets recycled.

Presiding over a ministerial conference here to mark World Environment Day, which is being hosted by India this year with the theme to combat “plastic pollution”, the ninister said the country now means business.

“Some 25,000 tonnes of plastic pollution is generated in the country every year of which only 60 per cent is processed while rest 40 per cent is pure litter… We mean business and will tackle this menace with all strength,” Harsh Vardhan said at the conference.

The ‘State of Environment Report India 2015’ was released by the minister at the conference.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s achievements in the field of environment, he said that the international community believes that India will achieve its pre-2020 or COP21 targets before time.

He said that the ministry was delegating powers to states so they can efficiently work towards environment preservation and fight pollution.

“The developing world complains how it has exploited environment and thus ask for technology and finance, I feel this is important but environment won’t be defended unless the society is motivated,” he added.

Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said that while Rs 350 crore was spent last year, this year Rs 650 crore was send to states under the environment protection programme.

Erik Solheim Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), who was also also present at the event, said that it was very important to protect India from pollution as it has an amazing ecosystem

He said India was his choice to host this year’s ‘World Environment Day’ due to a variety of reasons, including its vast population and fast economic growth.