Current Affairs – March, 2019

Latest Current Affairs March, 2019 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of March, 2019 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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EU parliament approves ban on Single-use plastics

The European Parliament has voted for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world’s oceans. The law on single-use plastic ban sets a target to gather 90 per cent of plastic for recycling by 2029 and mandates the production of plastic bottles with 25 per cent recycled material by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

The law also insists on polluters pay principle by insisting polluters to pay the costs of a clean-up. The measures are strengthened, particularly for cigarette manufacturers, who will have to support the recycling of discarded filters.

The “polluter pays” principle will be extended to manufacturers of fishing nets so that companies, not fishing crews pay the cost of nets lost at sea.

The products prohibited under the law represent 70 per cent of the waste that pours into the world’s oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.

Single-use plastics

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. They are not usually biodegradable and goes into a landfill where it is buried or it gets into the water and finds its way into the ocean. They degrade into tiny particles after many years. In this process of degradation, they release toxic chemicals (additives that were used to shape and harden the plastic) which make their way into our food and water supply.

Blockchain Based e-marketplace app for Coffee

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has launched blockchain-based e-marketplace for coffee.

Blockchain Based e-marketplace

  • The e-marketplace helps farmers integrate directly with markets in a transparent manner, allowing them to realize fair prices for their produce.
  • The blockchain technology will help in reducing the number of intermediaries between coffee growers and buyers and help farmers double their income.
  • The blockchain-based marketplace app for trading coffee brings transparency and maintains the traceability of Indian coffee from bean to cup.
  • The blockchain-based marketplace app by facilitating direct access to buyers, it will reduce growers’ dependency on intermediaries and help them get a fair price for their produce.
  • The coffee board has collaborated with Eka Plus for the development of the app.

India produces one of the best coffees in the world and a considerable portion of it comes from small coffee growers and tribal farmers. Although Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market, the share of farmers in the final returns from coffee is very low. The Blockchain Based e-marketplace app is expected to help farmers in gaining higher returns.

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