Press on Environment and Wildlife
Tax on carbon emission (June Week 1 (2005)) The Forest Ministry of Maharashtra is considering the introduction of a tax on vehicles and industrial units, based on their carbon emissions. The money collected would be used for implementing afforestation projects in the State. The suggestion is still at a preliminary stage but it will be taken up before the State Cabinet, said Mr Babanrao Pachpute, Forest Minister, Maharashtra (.The Hindu Business Line, 04 th June). The idea to introduce tax on carbon emission is based on the guidelines of the Kyoto protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1997. The Minister also said that the process of carbon credits, which has already started in Orissa and Karnataka, is being introduced in Maharashtra soon, which will enhance forest cover in the State significantly. In this, for every unit of Carbon processed the tree owner could claim a decided amount of money (*Carbon credit) from the government. Some overseas companies have offered to undertake afforestation programmes in the State for which they will claim carbon credits. This seems like a pragmatic way of motivating industries as well as the general public to check pollution and plant more trees.
Novel way of recycling plastic (June Week 1 (2005)) Recycling plastic waste in an easy, cost effective manner is now possible with a ‘polyloom'—a loom which weaves plastic bags into items of daily use. Launched on the Environment Day, the loom will help take the Capital a step further towards a plastic free zone. Developed by the Centre for Education and Environment (CEE), the loom was first introduced in Coorg. Polythene bags and other plastic waste are processed and woven into products like handbags, table tops, rugs and small carpets. A five star hotel in the city, where the loom was installed is working in collaboration with the NGO Chintan. Ragpickers are also being involved in the project. CEE is also deputing five trainers to work with women's self help groups to teach them how to use the loom. The finished products would then be given to Chintan to market them and the profits used to help the ragpickers. This project aims to achieve many goals in one stroke – we hope it does!
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