The State government will impose a ban on the use of plastic carry bags made of virgin plastics or recycled plastics of less than 60 micron thickness and 8x12 inches size.

In his address in the Assembly on Friday, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said the government would lay special emphasis on protecting the environment. A massive drive would be launched to clean up villages and towns.

Information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns would be launched for sensitising the public to eschew non-degradable plastics.

Recycling of plastics would strictly be regulated in accordance with the specification of Bureau of Indian Standards, the Governor said. Reacting to the decision, members of Tamil Nadu Plastic Manufacturers Association said that the State government must consider allowing use of bags of thickness above 40 microns.

Executive committee member of the Association B.Swaminathan said more raw material would be needed to produce the same number of bags of 60 micron thickness.

Consumers would also have to spend more money for the same size of bags. While the bags of 8x12 inches size and 40 micron thickness would cost Rs.1.35, those of 60 micron thickness would cost nearly Rs.2.10, he said.

Environmental activist A.Narayanan said the State government could also ban the use of plastic bags and cups for wet food, irrespective of their thickness because these plastics cannot be segregated from the food waste and they end up in dump yards.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012