CPCB takes measures to implement the Single Use Plastic Ban


CPCB has undertaken comprehensive measures to give effect to India’s commitment to ban identified Single Use Plastic items by 30thJune, 2022, to realise Hon’ble PM’s clarion call to phase out SUP.CPCB’s multi-pronged approach as part of its Comprehensive Action Plan encompasses measures to reduce supply of raw materials, demand side measures to reduce plastic demand, enabling measures to promote alternatives to SUP, digital interventions for efficient monitoring and to create awareness, and guidance to State Boards for effective implementation of directions.


As per the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, there is a complete ban on sachets using plastic material used for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and pan masala. As per PWM (Amended) Rules, 2021, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than seventy- five microns has been banned with effect from 30th September, 2021 as opposed to fifty microns recommended earlier under PWM Rules, 2016. Additionally, the notification of12th August 2021, prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of the following identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential with effect from the 1st July, 2022:




  1. ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice- cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration.
  2. plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers.




To curb the supply of identified items, directions have been issued at national, state and local level. For example, all leading petrochemical industries to not supply plastic raw materials to the industries engaged in banned SUP production. Additionally, directions have been issued to SPCB/PCCs to modify / revoke Consent to operate issued under Air/Water Act to industries engaged in banned SUP production. Customs Authority have been asked to stop the import of banned SUP items. To complete the loop, Local Authorities have been being directed to issue fresh commercial licenses with the condition that SUP items shall not be sold on their premises and the existing commercial licenses shall be cancelled, if entities are found to be selling banned SUP items.




As an alternative to the existing supply, enabling measures for promoting alternative to SUP are being actively pursued. CPCB has already issued one-time certificates to around 200 manufacturers of compostable plastic. These certificates do not require renewal which is in line with ease-of doing business policy of the Government. Further, an Online portal has been developed to facilitate certification of these manufacturers. To support the MSMEs, CPCB in association with CIPET is organizing Workshops for MSMEs across the country to transition to alternatives to SUP. Three such Workshops have been held at Ranchi, Guwahati & Madurai. Development of alternatives to petro based plastics is also being pursued in collaboration leading technical institutions like IISc and CIPET.


On the demand side, directions have been issued to E-commerce companies, leading single use plastic sellers/users, and plastic raw material manufacturers with respect to phasing out of


identified single use plastic items. To encourage citizens to partake in the efforts, SPCB’s and local bodies are organizing large scale awareness drives with participation of all citizens – students, voluntary organisations, self-help groups, local NGOs/CSOs, RWAs, market associations, corporate entities, etc. Previously, CPCB conducted surprise inspections of Gutkha / Pan Masala manufacturing industries across the country to check usage of plastic in packaging of their product.


To create an enabling support system, CPCB is handholding the State Boards to operationalise the advisories issued by conducting meetings so that all the Urban local bodies in the respective states are able to effectively implement the guidelines with their help. Regional Workshops with SPCBs/PCCs in addition to a Central Workshop with Chairpersons of all SPCBs/PCCs is being organised in June 2022.


Finally, multiple digital interventions have been made to increase efficiency at scale. To enable citizen participation, an SUP Public Grievance App was launched by Hon’ble Minister EF&CC, Shri Bhupender Yadav. The app has geotagging features with facility to track complaints. An SUP Compliance Monitoring Portal for filing of Reports by State / UT Authorities in compliance with Comprehensive Directions issued by CPCB for a bird’s eye view of progress and day-to-day monitoring.


CPCB is committed to facilitating the Single Use Plastic Ban of notified items through active collaboration with key stakeholders to achieve this ambitious goal of phasing out SUP plastics for India’s green future.


For regular updates, please follow the CPCB’s official website (cpcb.nic.in) and social media handles:




Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CPCBindia/| Twitter: @CPCB_OFFICIAL | Instagram: @cpcb_official

























1

Plastic Sticks

a

Earbuds

b

Balloons

c

Candy

d

Ice-cream

2

Cutlery items

a

Plates, cups , glasses, forks, spoons,


knives, trays

b

Glass

c

Forks

d

Spoons

e

Knives

f

Trays

3

Packaging / Wrapping Films

a

Sweet box

b

Invitation cards

c

Cigarette Packets

4

Other items

a

PVC banners < 100 µm, polystyrene for


decoration

b

Polystyrene for decoration






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Hong Kong – Time-limited measures for importation of care workers to alleviate manpower shortage of the care sector during the pandemic

Time-limited measures for importation of care workers to alleviate manpower shortage of the care sector during the pandemic

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     The Labour Department (LD) announced today (March 1) that with immediate effect, the Government relaxed certain requirements for the care sector to import care workers under the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) for three months ending on May 31.

 

     An LD spokesman said, “During the outbreaks of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of hundreds of residential care homes (RCHs) for the elderly and persons with disabilities in Hong Kong have been infected which have substantially increased the need for care services. At the same time, more and more care workers are also infected which further aggravate the already tight manpower situation”.

 

     “To alleviate the grave challenge of manpower shortage in the care sector, the Government has decided to exempt the care sector from the prerequisite arrangement of undergoing four-week local recruitment under the SLS, flexibly approve the number of care workers to be imported having regard to the needs of individual RCHs and suspend the circulation of each application to the Labour Advisory Board for views during the aforesaid three-month period. These seek to expedite the processing of applications to address the urgent needs. Besides, subvented RCHs can apply for importation of care workers in accordance with the same requirements. All applicant RCHs shall continue to comply with the other SLS requirements.”

 

     RCHs for the elderly and persons with disabilities may browse the LD’s website (www.labour.gov.hk/eng/form/eform/sld/note/EF0601/content.htm) for information about the SLS and downloading its application form. For enquiries, please call the SLS hotline at 2150 6363.

 

     Concurrently, to underpin all-out efforts to fight against the new wave of the pandemic, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) urgently recruits 1 000 temporary contract care staff from the Mainland direct to reinforce the manpower. These care staff will be engaged for three months and deployed to provide necessary care services in community isolation facilities and RCHs for the elderly, persons with disabilities and children who are suspected or confirmed to be infected. SWD has commissioned employment service agencies to proceed with the recruitment, and the HKSAR Government has also sought help from the Central People’s Government for coordination amongst the concerned Mainland authorities to provide facilitation on speedy approval of applications.

 

     All along, RCHs for the elderly and persons with disabilities may make use of the employment services of LD to recruit local employees. The LD’s Interactive Employment Services website has set up a dedicated webpage for the elderly care and rehabilitation services sector (www.jobs.gov.hk/0/en/JobSeeker/jobsearch/quickview/careservices/) to facilitate job seekers to browse the relevant job vacancies. Job seekers may also make use of the LD’s Telephone Employment Service Centre and Job Centres to enquire about the relevant job vacancies and receive employment services by telephone (telephone numbers are shown at www.jobs.gov.hk/0/en/information/ourservices/jobcentres).

 

     The spokesman continued, “In face of the current severe pandemic, we urge the community to make concerted efforts to fight against the pandemic”. 

Measures taken to curb food inflation and alleviate problems of common man due to COVID-19

The Government is taking effective measures to curb inflation especially food inflation keeping in view of the condition of the people suffering from coronavirus pandemic situation in the country. This was stated by Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

Enumerating more steps taken by the Government to alleviate the problems of the common man, the Minister stated that the buffer stock of pulses have been used to tackle price volatility of these commodities. Pulses from the buffer were used very effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic for supplying @ 1 kg per household per month free of cost to approx. 19 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiary households between April and November 2020.

The Minister further stated that the Government imposed stock limits on some pulses under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 in July 2021, which has had a salutary effect in terms of softening of prices.

The Minister stated that the Government eased import restrictions to enhance domestic availability of Tur, Urad and Moong and have also entered into MoUs with Myanmar, Malawi, Mozambique for pulses import. Basic import duty and Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on Masur have been brought down to zero and 10% respectively.

The Minister stated that steps were taken to soften the prices of edible oils and the duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) has been cut, bringing down the effective tax rate on CPO to 30.25% from the earlier 35.75%. Further, the duty on Refined palm oil / Palmolein has been reduced to 37.5% from 45%, the Minister added.

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Hong Kong – CE announces measures to further promote sports development

CE announces measures to further promote sports development

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     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, together with the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Caspar Tsui, today (August 10) announced various measures conducive to the sustainable development of sports in Hong Kong. She also called on the academic sector, enterprises and members of the public to further support Hong Kong athletes to scale new heights, as well as to promote the professionalisation of sports and the development of the sports industry in Hong Kong.

     “The performance of the Hong Kong, China Delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was distinguished, with it achieving the best results in Hong Kong history and making all Hong Kong people feel proud. The success of the Hong Kong athletes did not come about by chance. In addition to their own efforts and the support of different sectors, the Government’s policy directives and its resource allocation were also indispensable,” Mrs Lam said.

     Mrs Lam pointed out that the Government has been promoting sports development through a three-pronged approach since more than a decade ago, namely supporting elite sports, promoting sports in the community and maintaining Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events, and has invested heavily in it in recent years. The Government has allocated $60 billion of new resources from 2017 to date, and the recurrent expenditure on support for sports development has been increasing. In the year 2021/22, the Government’s annual funding for the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), through the Elite Athletes Development Fund, amounted to $737 million, representing an increase of about 42 per cent over the amount in the year 2017/18.

     “The Government will step up efforts in supporting sports development in the future. It is hoped that more elite athletes can bring glory home in international competitions down the road,” Mrs Lam said.

     Measures announced by Mrs Lam today to further support sports development are as follows: 

Expediting the new building project of the HKSI
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     The HKSI is a training centre for elite sports in Hong Kong that provides direct financial subsidies and comprehensive support services for elite athletes. To enhance the facilities for training athletes in the HKSI, the Government has decided to allocate $990 million (in money-of-the-day prices) as the project cost for the new building in the HKSI with about 9 000 square metres of net operating floor area to expand its Scientific Conditioning Centre and Sports Medicine Centre, and provide additional training, resting and accommodation facilities for athletes. The Government will strive to have the funding approved by the Public Works Subcommittee and the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) before the current term of the LegCo ends in late October, so that works can be launched as early as possible. The target is to commission the new building in June 2024, that is, before the opening of the Paris Olympic Games.

Establishing a fund to enhance the competitiveness of athletes
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     The Government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust will finance jointly the setting up of a $300 million special fund to enhance the competitiveness of athletes at international events in the coming few years. The fund will be used to conduct research in sports science and sports medicine, improve athletes’ gear, purchase extra equipment for the Scientific Conditioning Centre and the Sports Medicine Centre in the HKSI and more, benefiting elite athletes including athletes with disabilities. Meanwhile, the HKSI will continue to provide targeted support and competition preparation plans for athletes, and enhance training to raise the levels of sports science and sports medicine of its teams.

Strengthening sports development at the school level
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     The Government encourages schools to attach greater importance to sports development. The Home Affairs Bureau and the Education Bureau will study how to build a good foundation of sports for students through the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities and increase the opportunities for them to participate in various sport events and competitions, promoting sports in the community and its development as well as nurturing more elite athletes for Hong Kong in the future. The Government will also step up efforts to support the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation to scout for elite athlete successors. 

Strengthening support for elite athletes’ dual career development in sports and academic pursuits
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     The Government encourages tertiary institutions to provide support for elite athletes, enabling them to engage in dual career development in sports and academic pursuits and encouraging parents to let their children with sporting talent join the ranks of elite athletes. In fact, the Government injected $250 million into the Hong Kong Athletes Fund in 2020 to increase scholarships to support athletes’ dual career development, including stepping up support for athletes to study bachelor’s degrees or above. In addition, the HKSI has collaborated with 12 local tertiary institutions to create multiple pathways for athletes and provide them with more flexible learning arrangements. Currently, about 170 active HKSI athletes are studying in tertiary institutions, and about 60 of them have benefited from the co-operation agreements between the HKSI and various tertiary institutions. More than 200 other active athletes have already completed post-secondary programmes.

Development of the sports industry
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     With the commissioning of the Kai Tak Sports Park in 2023 and the growing importance the community attaches to the development of sports, the Government aims to promote the development of sports as a career, a profession and an industry to provide retired athletes as well as young people with job and development opportunities in areas including venue management, sports administration, sports science, sports medicine and organisation of mega sports events. The Secretary for Home Affairs will chair a working group to discuss with the business and sports sectors on the development of the sports industry in Hong Kong and the relevant manpower needs, and will submit a report to the Chief Executive later.

     “There will be a number of important sports events taking place in the future, including the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to begin later this month, the National Games to be held in Shaanxi Province next month, the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and the Asian Games in Hangzhou to be held next year, as well as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. I call on members of the public to continue their support for Hong Kong athletes and also encourage them to do more exercise to create a sports-for-all atmosphere,” Mrs Lam said.

Hong Kong – Security measures at CFA Building

Security measures at CFA Building

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The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     The Judiciary today (July 9) announced that enhanced security measures will be implemented at the Court of Final Appeal Building (CFA Building) starting from July 12.

     “The introduction of enhanced security measures aims to help ensure the safety of judges and judicial officers, Judiciary staff and court users in the CFA Building,” a spokesman for the Judiciary said.

     Court users will be required to undergo security screening, including screening by metal detector and bag inspection, when entering the CFA Building. The Judiciary will deploy additional staff and security guards to provide guidance and assistance for court users.

     Out of security considerations, court users will not be allowed to bring water or drinks into the CFA Building upon implementation of the security screening. The Judiciary will provide drinking water and encourage court users to bring their own cups.

     The spokesman said, “We have taken into account all relevant matters including operational efficiency and the convenience of court users when implementing the security screening.”

     In implementing security screening in the CFA Building, the Judiciary will make every effort to minimise inconvenience caused to court users. However, it is inevitable that more time will be required for court users to gain access to courtrooms. The Judiciary urges the relevant parties and other court users to arrive at the CFA Building earlier, in particular during the peak hours in the mornings or after the lunch breaks.

     Security arrangements have been implemented on floors with courtrooms at the High Court Building, the Family Court and the Small Claims Tribunal. The relevant arrangements are planned to be extended to cover the whole West Kowloon Law Courts Building by the end of this year.