Bindu Shajan Perappadan
Environmentalist's RTI query evokes ‘don't-know' answers
NEW DELHI: Though the State Environment Department had launched a campaign to ensure that the Capital disposes of plastic in an environment-friendly manner, it seems clueless about the number of plastic mineral water bottles used and disposed of in the city every day.
In a reply to a RTI query on plastic bottles, the Department replied that it had no information on the subject.
“I had asked them if they knew about the number of mineral water bottles and other such plastic bottles that are being disposed of daily at the airport, railway stations, bus terminals and other places. The department had no information about this and it also did not know how many of these bottles are manufactured and brought to the city every day,” said environmentalist V.K. Jain.
“They also had no idea whether manufactures of these bottles were also responsible for disposing them of. We had also asked the department if it had any information available on whether coating of any chemical inside mineral water bottles is hazardous above a limit, the name of the chemical involved and if any testing and research was conducted to find out more about this. The department had no information available. “What we are worried about is the fact that the public may be exposed to an industrial chemical Bisphenol A widely used in plastics and extreme exposure to which is known to cause infertility, higher occurrence of breast cancer, prostate growth, early puberty in children and resistance to insulin among other medical problems.” Demanding that the Government bring in some accountability, he said: “During the summers the demand for these bottles goes up manifold. The Government needs to ensure that their use is both environment and health-friendly. The Government should be made accountable for the manner in which these bottles are disposed of and also asked to enquire into the ill-effects of long-term exposure to them.”