They will help MCC check sale of bags of less than 40 microns in thickness

Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) has roped in plastic carry-bag manufacturers in its fight against the menace of plastic waste. The manufacturers have offered help to the MCC in identifying those selling thin plastic carry bags and take legal action.

Corporation Commissioner K. Harish Kumar told presspersons here on Saturday that plastic carry bags collected during the door-to-door collection of waste would be handed over to the representatives of Canara Plastics Manufacturers and Traders’ Association. “Plastic bags will be collected separately by the agency that has been assigned the task of door-to-door collection of waste,” Mr. Kumar said. The manufacturers, as per rules, would recycle the plastic carry bags, he added.

B.A. Nazeer, president of the association, said the manufacturers would purchase plastic bags of recyclable quality from the agency, which had been collecting waste, and recycle them at the plants established by the association. They would also acquire other kinds of plastic bags that would be given to firms that used plastic for laying roads and other work. “We will be taking every type of plastic bags,” he said.

The association had filed a petition before the High Court challenging the order of the district administration banning use of plastic carry bags. In an interim order on January 15, the High Court asked the MCC to take action to prevent use of plastic carry bags that were less than 40 microns in thickness. “We are joining hands (with the corporation) to prevent the use of thin plastic carry bags,” Mr. Nazeer said.

Mr. Kumar said the corporation would resume its drive against possession, sale and disposal of thin plastic bags. “The corporation will strictly follow the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules”, he said. Plastic carry bags should specify the name of the manufacturer, its thickness and licence number. Recycled plastic carry bags should indicate that it had been recycled. Such bags should not be used for carrying eatables such as fish.

First-time offenders would have to pay a fine of Rs. 500 while any subsequent offence would lead to the cancelation of licence. The corporation would send information to the Karnataka Pollution Control Board to cancel the licence (of units manufacturing thin plastic bags), Mr. Kumar said.

The commissioner said door-to-door collection of kitchen and dry waste had started in all the wards of the city. People, who had complaints regarding non-collection of waste, could send an SMS to 8123666266. He said the corporation would strictly enforce the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act and initiate penal action against people putting up buntings and posters illegally.

“We will remove the buntings and collect twice as much as it cost us to remove and dispose of the buntings and posters from the offenders as fine,” he said.

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