TOPIC OF THE DAY:-“Reduce, Segregate: On Plastic Ban”

Maharashtra’s ban on several consumer articles made of plastic, introduced after a three-month notice period to industry and users, is an extreme measure. It is naturally disruptive, and Mumbai, famed for its resilience in the face of urban challenges, is trying to adapt quickly. Today, stemming the plastic tide is a national imperative. India hosted this year’s World Environment Day and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a high-profile pledge, to international acclaim, that it would do away with all single-use plastics by 2022. This goal is not yet backed by an action plan so that State governments and local bodies can be in sync. Worldwide, the problem has got out of hand, with only 9% of about nine billion tonnes of plastic produced getting recycled. India has an uninspiring record when it comes to handling waste. It has patchy data on volumes, and even less on what it recycles. This lackadaisical approach is at odds with its ambitious goals. Quite simply, if the Centre and the States had got down to dealing with the existing regulations on plastic waste management and municipal solid waste, a ban would not even have become necessary. Specifications for the recycling of different types of plastics were issued two decades ago by the Bureau of Indian Standards. To address the global concern that the bulk of India’s plastic waste — estimated officially at 26,000 tonnes a day — is being dumped in the oceans, there has to be an effort on a war footing to segregate it at source. The Urban Development Secretary in each State, who heads the monitoring committee under the rules, should be mandated to produce a monthly report on how much plastic waste is collected, including details of the types of chemicals involved, and the disposal methods. Such compulsory disclosure norms will maintain public pressure on the authorities, including the State Pollution Control Boards. But segregation at source has not taken off, as there is little awareness, official support or infrastructure. Even bulk generators such as shopping malls, hotels and offices do not abide by the law. Priority, therefore, should be given to stop the generation of mixed waste, which prevents recovery of plastics. Companies covered by extended producer responsibility provisions must be required to take back their waste. In parallel, incentives to reduce the use of plastic carry bags, single-use cups, plates and cutlery must be in place. Retailers must be required to switch to paper bags. Potentially, carry bag production using cloth can create more jobs than machines using plastic pellets. What needs to be underscored is that plastics became popular because they are inexpensive, can be easily produced and offer great convenience. But, as the UN Environment Programme notes, their wild popularity has turned them into a scourge. Consumers will be ready to make the switch, but they need good alternatives.


1) Disruptive

Meaning: Innovative or groundbreaking.

Example: “breaking a disruptive technology into the market is never easy”

Synonyms: Innovative, Inventive

Antonyms: Unimaginative, Conservative

2) Famed

Meaning: Known about by many people; renowned.

Example: “he is famed for his eccentricities”

Synonyms: Famous, Celebrated

3) Resilience

Meaning: The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Example: “nylon is excellent in wear ability, abrasion resistance and resilience”

Synonyms: Flexibility, Pliability

Antonyms: Rigidity, Fragility

4) Stemming

Meaning: Stop or restrict (the flow of something).

Example: “a nurse did her best to stem the bleeding”

Synonyms: Staunch, Stop

5) Imperative

Meaning: Of vital importance; crucial.

Example: “immediate action was imperative”

Synonyms: All-important, Vital

Antonyms: Unimportant, Optional

6) High-profile

Meaning: Attracting much attention or publicity.

Example: “a high-profile military presence”

7) Acclaim

Meaning: Enthusiastic and public praise.

Example: “she has won acclaim for her commitment to democracy”

Synonyms: Praise, Applause

Antonyms: Criticism

8) Sync

Meaning: Synchronization.

Example: “images flash on to your screen in sync with the music”

9) Out of hand

Meaning: Not under control.

Example: “things were getting a bit out of hand at the picket line”

Synonyms: Uncontrollable, Difficult

Antonyms: Manageable, Controllable

10) Uninspiring

Meaning: Not producing excitement or interest.

Example: “an uninspiring game that United scarcely deserved to win”

Synonyms: Boring, Dreary

Antonyms: Inspiring, Exciting

11) Patchy

Meaning: Not of the same quality throughout; inconsistent.

Example: “your coursework was patchy”

Synonyms: Deficient, Insufficient

Antonyms: Complete, Comprehensive

12) Lackadaisical

Meaning: Lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.

Example: “a lackadaisical defence left Spurs adrift in the second half”

Synonyms: Careless, Lazy

Antonyms: Enthusiastic, Excited

13) Ambitious

Meaning: (of a plan or piece of work) intended to satisfy high aspirations and therefore difficult to achieve.

Example: “an ambitious enterprise”

Synonyms: Difficult, Exacting

Antonyms: Unambitious, Easy

14) Specifications

Meaning: A detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.

Example: “one of the telescope’s mirrors had been manufactured to incorrect specifications”

Synonyms: Description, Delineation

15) Concern

Meaning: A cause of anxiety or worry.

Example: “environmental concerns”

Synonyms: Affair, Question

16) Dumped

Meaning: Deposit or dispose of (rubbish, waste, or unwanted material), typically in a careless or hurried way.

Example: “trucks dumped 1,900 tons of refuse here”

Synonyms: Discard, Scrap

17) Footing

Meaning: The position or status of a person in relation to others; the basis on which something is established or operates.

Example: “the suppliers are on an equal footing with the buyers”

Synonyms: Status, Foundation

18) Disclosure

Meaning: The action of making new or secret information known.

Example: “a judge ordered the disclosure of the government documents”

Synonyms: Revelation, Declaration

Antonyms: Concealment

19) Pellets

Meaning: Plastic resin pellets are small granules generally with shape of a cylinder or a disk with a diameter of a few mm. These plastic particles are industrial raw material transported to manufacturing sites where “user plastics” are made by re-melting and molding into the final products.

20) Underscored

Meaning: Emphasize.

Example: “the company underscored the progress made with fuel cells”

21) Scourge

Meaning: A person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering.

Example: “the scourge of mass unemployment”

Synonyms: Affliction, Plague

Antonyms: Blessing, Godsend



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