Gauhati University
File photo of the entrance gate of Gauhati University.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the universities and other higher education institutes to impose blanket ban on single-use plastic.

The UGC order comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a programme against single-use plastic from October 2.

The UGC guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it with “environment friendly substitutes.

“It also mandates that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastics in canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises.

“Carry out awareness drives and sensitisation 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.

The guidelines further ask the institutions to encourage the students to sensitise their respective households about the harmful effects of plastics and make their households ‘plastic-free’.

The guidelines are an effort to encourage the universities and colleges to adopt policies and practices towards cleaner and plastic-free campuses.

The higher education regulator said that plastic waste has emerged as one of the biggest environmental concerns adversely impacting the soil, water, health and well-being of citizens at large and that time has come for a systematic campaign to reduce the usage of plastics.

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