The hologram project, being implemented by the city Corporation in a bid to curb the use of plastic carry bags, is likely to be initiated at the level of upmarket stores.
In view of the lukewarm response by representatives of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) towards implementation of the hologram project, officials consider this a more viable means to start the programme.
This is primarily because upmarket stores would have their own manufacturer when it comes to supply of plastic bags and it would be easier to ensure that the bags carry the hologram sticker. One of the objections raised by the KVVES pertained to the trouble in pasting stickers on the mass of plastic bags supplied by smaller stores and vendors every day. They had suggested that the Corporation meet with carry bag manufacturers, most of them from Tamil Nadu, to ensure that all the bags provided were marked with the hologram emblem.
This, officials said, was not practical as the manufacturers would not devote time marking carry bags solely for utilisation within the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation limits. Prompting larger stores to begin this programme would also eliminate the possibility of retail vendors’ associations raising complaints about how small stalls were affected by the new policies while the upmarket stores were left alone, said a Health official.
There are also considering a proposal to seek the assistance of Kudumbasree in carrying out the tedious task. The workers would be paid as part of the proceeds collected by significantly raising the cost of each bag.
Since no headway has been made regarding the effective collection and disposal of plastic waste, the first of its kind hologram project in the State aims to create a legally permissible means to bring down the rampant use of plastic. The aggressive boycott carried out by the Corporation earlier this year had failed because court cases were filed against officials by store owners on grounds that they were not breaking the law by making available plastic of above 40 microns.
A decision on selection of an agency for the collection of plastic from designated points in the city may be finalised by the end of the month. Kudumbashree workers can then resume the collection of cleaned plastic waste from homes. As part of the first stage, this will be carried out in 40 wards of the city before spreading to the peripheries where the problem is not as severe. Readying this plastic collection regime would step up the ward-level conventions as well, said Health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha.