Little effort is put to make the ban on plastic less than 20 microns successful
HYDERABAD: Be it lack of will or zero priority status, the ban on plastics has literally fallen flat in the city. Though the State government had imposed a ban of production, supply and sale of plastics less than 20 microns, little effort is being put to make the ban successful.
According to R. Shoba, Special Secretary, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, five to six per cent of the 11,500 tonnes waste generated in the entire State per day is plastic. Pointing out that the role of Pollution Control Board (PCB) is that of regulation, she said the power to check supply and sale of plastic bags lies with the urban local bodies or the municipality.
“There are over 300 plastic bag manufacturing units in the State, the regulation of which comes under our purview. We carry out regular inspections and ensure that they follow the norms effectively. Recently we had imposed fines on 23 units for not following the rules and had also shut down two units for manufacturing coloured plastics below 20 microns,” she said. What is worrisome, however, is that almost 60 per cent of the plastic bags in the State are produced outside the State. “We can regulate units and production within the State but most of the plastic bags are being supplied from outside. It is the duty of the municipal authority to check this supply,” said Ramchand, Senior Environmental Engineer, PCB pointing out that many States in the country have even banned plastics which are less than 40 and 50 microns.
Interestingly, efforts are also on by the Central government to ban multilayered plastics and metallised pouches across the country, he informed. The proposal under the Plastics (manufacture, usage and waste management) Rules 2009 looks at replacing the earlier Recycled Plastic Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999 and follows recommendations of the Chopra Committee which had been formed in 2008 under the direction of Delhi High Court.
Mrs. Shoba feels the local authorities should take a leaf out of Bengaluru Municipal Corporation which had replaced 20 per cent bitumen with used plastics while laying roads. “It’s the local body which should take initiative and thus send the message out loud and clear,” she added.