Radhakrishnan Kuttoor

PCB to issue directives to local bodies soon

PATHANAMTHITTA: Negligence in effectively enforcing the Government ban on plastic carrybags (PCB/L/3120/2005) has led to the piling up this hazardous material in various parts of the city and even rural areas.

As per Pollution Control Board (PCB) norms, plastic carrybags should be of 50 microns and above to check its ill effects on the environment.

Thomas P. Thomas, Botany professor and environmentalist, says: "Towns and even villages in Kerala are yet to witness any kind of environmental improvement that was promised with the much talked about ban on the thin plastic carrybags.

"It is sad that we have not been able to get rid of the ubiquitous plastic carrybag, whether it be for buying groceries or discarding household waste, leading to degradation of the environment," he says.

Alexander George, assistant environmental engineer attached to the PCB here, says plastic waste affects the free movement of water through the soil, besides damaging the soil ecology.

Death of animals following consumption of plastic waste has been reported from different parts of the country, including the Sabarimala forests located in the

Periyar Tiger Reserve. Pampa Parirakshana Samiti general secretary N.K. Sukumaran Nair says "the carrybags could clog drains, spew poison, if burnt and take hundreds of years to perish.

Burning of plastic carrybags produces toxic gases and the municipalities and other local bodies usually burn plastic waste in the open. Mr. George said the PCB would soon issue directives to the local bodies as well as traders' organisations for strict compliance with the PCB norms in their locality and surroundings.

According to Mr. George, Poly Ethylene Teraphthalate (PET) bottles should be destroyed after single use. If such bottles are continuously used, it may cause health problems, as certain substances in the material may dissolve in the water.

The PCB engineer said almost all plastics could be recycled and recycled plastic should not be used for handling food materials.

Death of animals following consumption of plastic waste has been reported from different parts of the country, including the Sabarimala forests located in the

Periyar Tiger Reserve. Pampa Parirakshana Samiti general secretary N.K. Sukumaran Nair says "the carrybags could clog drains, spew poison, if burnt and take hundreds of years to perish.

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