Raids conducted in 150 shops
Though plastic bags and cups weighing less than 50 microns still find space in certain shops, there has been a perceptible decline in the usage of such items especially during the last two months after government authorities stepped up its effort to enforce the ban on plastics invoked on December 9 last year.
Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh has issued an order under powers vested in him by the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The notification stated that no person including a shopkeeper, vendor or wholesale dealer, retailer or dealer or trader should use or sell polythene carry bags of 50 microns or below and a size of less than 8 x 12 inches.
After initial delay in enforcing the ban, the government a few months ago stepped up the drive after holding talks with stakeholders and creating awareness among public. “It has started yielding results. There is a perceptible reduction in the use of such items now,” Special Secretary to Government G. Theva Neethi Dhas told TheHindu.
Teams formed under the direct supervision of heads of Revenue, Health, Science and Technology Departments and Municipalities conducted raids in around 150 shops in the town and suburban areas in the last few months. Items worth around Rs 15,000 have been seized so far.
The first leg of inspection had been completed, he said adding in the coming months it would be further intensified. As many as 5 units involved in the manufacture of bags, cups and plates below 50 microns are now producing items beyond the prescribed limit. Apart from the five units, 140 industries producing various plastic items have been asked to register under the Plastic, Manufacture, Sales and Usage Rules 1999 so as to bring them in the purview of environmental laws, Mr. Dhas said.