In a bid to protect the environmental degradation of India’s iconic monuments, the tourism authority has banned single-use plastic near heritage structures that fall under the purview of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The decision was announced by tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel at an event in New Delhi last week.
Following this ban, visitors will now not be allowed to carry or use single-use plastic within 100 metres of monuments such as the Red Fort or the Taj Mahal. Nearly 3,686 monuments will be covered under this order. While the ban is a step in the right direction, the onus is equally on tourists and travellers to be responsible with their environmental footprint. Apart from spoiling the beauty of monuments and other man-made markers of cultural heritage, the planet is currently grappling with the widespread use and improper disposal of single-use plastics. Terrestrial, aquatic and avian species often ingest plastic thinking it to be food, or get entangled in plastic bags, putting their lives at risk.
If you want to do your bit to tackle plastic pollution and make the planet more sustainable, you could read more about the most pressing environmental issues of our day here and take the small steps, described in National Geographic’s Pledge for Planet (see below).