‘Ban is a fashion statement and it is not practical at all’

Plastic carry-bag manufacturing industry is in a limbo.

Unit owners are worried about their future as uncertainty shrouds the implementation of ban on plastic carry bags that is to come into force by November 1.

Kanara Small-Scale Industry Association (KSIA) president B.A Nazeer says ban on plastic carry bags is not a part of the State-wide policy and if an order in favour of the ban is issued, the association will go to court against it.

No notice

There has been no official notice about the ban. “Ban is a fashion statement and it is not practical at all,” he said.

Ameen, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), says that the ban will jeopardise the livelihood of persons working in plastic-bag manufacturing units. Dealers are not buying plastic bags fearing the ban. Manufacturers are not running their units to full capacity and they are contemplating whether they should lay off some workers. If the ban is not enforced, the firing spree will backfire.

There are at least 60 plastic-bag manufacturing units in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. As many as 5,000 people work in the units and another 10,000, including dealers and traders, depend on them for their livelihood.

“Everybody’s life is at stake, it is not something about which you can decide so quickly,” he says.

He says KCCI has asked the district administration to suggest a substitute for plastic bags. The suggested alternative is a poly product.

“It is not cloth...there is absolutely no substitute for plastic bags. Such a step by the administration (of banning plastic bags) is not good,” he says. Members of KCCI, KSIA and the Yeyyadi Industrial Area Association, and representatives from NGOs and doctors have met political representatives. Everybody, except one doctor, is against the ban.

Yet, the district administration wants to go ahead with the ban, which is not reflective of a democracy, Mr. Ameen says.

Mr. Ameen says KCCI has given 10 machines to the city corporation to ascertain the thickness of plastic bags. However, the machines remain unused for reasons not known.

The former president of KCCI G. Giridhar Prabhu says the regulation on manufacture and sale of plastic bags of less than 40 microns must be strictly enforced.

And fish vendors must be told to refrain from using such bags because law applied to all citizens. Local authorities must address the issue of plastic waste from households.

They must devise a mechanism for waste segregation and give separate bins for waste from homes and commercial places. The waste so collected must be used to generate electricity or should be recycled.

Local civic bodies should devise deterrents for those who throw plastic waste in public places.

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