The West Godavari district administration has come out with a plan of action to handle the hazards caused by plastic wastes to the environment and public health. The District Level Task Force Committee on plastic pollution which met here on Friday decided to involve the rag pickers in the campaign against the plastic hazards.

Collector A. Vani Prasad, who is the Chairperson of the task force committee, appealed to the Commissioners of all the eight urban centres in the district to extend incentives to the rag-pickers who volunteered to segregate the plastic wastes and dispose them at designated places.

She observed that the plastic wastes with 20 microns of thickness failed to be part of the rag-pickers' collections now since the traders refused to accept them on the ground that they were not used for recycling.

The sale and consumption of plastic containers with 20 microns in thickness were banned by the government as they proved to be the most hazardous to the environment and a serious threat to biodiversity.

Ms. Vani said the administration was effectively enforcing the ban on plastic use on the Collectorate premises.

She exhorted the task force members to conduct raid on the manufactures of plastic containers with 20 microns in thickness and the other trade outlets such as hotels, hospitals and the other business establishments in a bid to discourage use of the prohibited plastic containers.

The Collector said it was decided to organize an exhibition in the city on June 5, the World Environment Day, with the bags made of jute and cloth and the other earthen containers on display as part of the endeavour to place the alternates to the plastic containers before the people.

Ravindranadh, Executive Engineer, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), maintained that the indiscriminate dumping of plastic wastes in the canal system proved to be one of the factors for floods in the district as the waste material kept working against the carrying capacity of the canals. Besides, the plastic wastes deposited underground were contributing to depletion of aquifers.

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