Chennai Corporation on Wednesday conducted surprise raids on tiny and small-scale industries and seized lakhs of banned plastic bags from various parts of the city. Over 300 registered units and hundreds of unauthorised units continue to manufacture banned plastic bags in the city.

Plastic bags that have less than a 40 micron thickness have been banned, as perthe provisions of the Centre’s notification on Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. However, most retail outlets in the city prefer plastic bags with a thickness of less than 20 microns, according to workers at a number of manufacturing units.

The civic body claimed that it seized over 4.97 tonnes of plastic bags in the raid. From the Tondiarpet zone covering areas such as Kodungaiyur, civic authorities seized 2,500 kg of banned plastic bags.

Many of the units are located in areas such as Muthamizh Nagar, where a small-scale plastic bag manufacturing unit was sealed for violating the rules. The sealing notice read: “The unit is sealed for manufacturing plastic bags less than 20 micron.”

The civic body also seized over 2,000 kg of banned plastic bags from wholesale and retail outlets on NSC Bose and Broadway, where most of the illegal wholesaling and retailing units for plastic bags in the city, continue to thrive.

About 450 kg of plastic bags were seized from Tiruvottiyur zone, 720 kg from Madhavaram, 315 kg from Ambattur, 300 kg from Teynampet and 290 kg from Kodambakkam.

President of Chennai Plastic Manufacturers and Merchants Association G. Sankaran said: “We are not against implementation of the rule that bans plastic bags of thickness less than 40 microns. But the Chennai Corporation should have created awareness among the manufacturers before the crackdown. These units involve the livelihood of many people.”

Mr. Sankaran added, “The civic body should also stop the transportation of banned plastic bags from other States if they are really determined to enforce the rules in manufacturing units in Chennai.”

Keywords: plastic ban

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