FSSAI is charting a big action plan to give shape and implement the Prime Minister’s appeal to eliminate single-use plastic, develop environmental friendly substitutes and provide an efficient plastic collection and disposal system in association with all stakeholders in the food and beverages (F&B) sector.
FSSAI has already introduced some regulatory measures in the F&B industry to reduce its plastic footprint. These include:
- Hotels can use paper-sealed glass bottles for captive use without BIS certification in place of plastic bottles
- Use of bamboo as an alternative to plastics such as straws, plates, bowls, or cutlery
- Removing the restriction on the use of returnable bottles for packaging of artificially sweetened beverages
- Permitting the use of liquid nitrogen dosing in PET bottles during the packaging of drinking water
The Food Authority has started a consumer awareness campaign “Eat Right India for Sustainable Living” as a call to action for plastic waste management and reduction of plastic footprint in the F&B industry.
To kick-start the movement, Indian Cricket Captain, Virat Kohli invited his millions of fans on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to bring empty F&B packaging, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and Tetra Pak cartons which can be recycled and used. Thousands of people joined him at MGF mall, Gurgaon where Kohli himself segregated F&B plastic packaging waste and motivated others present to follow suit.
Captain of Indian Cricket Team Virat Kohli, made it a point to specially ask his fans not just to talk about the problem but find a solution. “Don’t get inspired by (my) hairstyle or clothes, get inspired to do good for the society. Join hands to achieve a plastic waste-free India by participating in this campaign”, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, FSSAI CEO, Pawan Agarwal said, “Virat Kohli is not only India’s ace cricketer but a wonderful human being with a sensitive heart, who cares for the society. He thanked him for his support to the cause of ‘Healthy India’ through safe food, healthy and sustainable diets. He hoped that endorsement of celebrities like Virat Kohli will help to make India completely free of plastic soon and FSSAI is committed to working with various stakeholders from the food and beverages sector to bring about this change”.
Significantly Virat Kohli’s promotion drive comes close to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019’, which specifically focusses on ‘plastic waste awareness and management’.
FSSAI is asking State/UT Food Safety departments to conduct similar awareness and collection drives at public places and malls in State capitals and major cities. It has also urged the State Level Advisory Committees to discuss, organize and devise activities for sustaining the agenda.
The two campaigns are completely aligned with each other and will help accelerate the vision of the Prime Minister to eliminate single-use plastic — in homes, offices, and workplaces.