Civic body to enforce rules on plastic waste-handling; plans to conduct raids on outlets handling banned plastic bags

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on Friday asked Chennai Corporation to submit an ‘action taken’ report in one week on plastic waste management and handling in the city.

The Corporation will soon commence sensitisation and enforcement of rules pertaining to plastic waste-handling.

The civic body is also planning to conduct raids only on wholesale and retail outlets, and seize banned plastic bags, according to a set of guidelines issued recently. The TNPCB will conduct enforcement drives on manufacturing units as it is the licensing authority.

Last year, many of the manufacturing units in areas such as Tondiarpet, Madhavaram and Ambattur were found violating rules.

The guidelines issued by the TNPCB stress the need for using plastics for laying of roads in the city, commissioning plastic waste-collection centres, technology for preventing accumulation of plastic waste and measures to control plastic carry bags.

Plastic bags that have a thickness of less than 40 microns have been banned, as per provisions under the Centre’s notification on Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. However, a large number of the retail outlets in the city have started using plastic bags with a thickness of less than 20 microns, civic body officials said.

Last year, the Corporation conducted raids at many of the 300 registered units and hundreds of unauthorised units that manufacture banned plastic bags in the city. Most of the illegal plastic bags continue to be transported from Gujarat and cities in the State such as Erode.

The new action plan of the Corporation will involve other agencies such as the commercial tax department, police and TNPCB.

The civic body would be able to prevent transportation of the banned products only with the support of the involved agencies, an official said.

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