Session's aim is to enable stakeholders to know what is needed to implement the law in letter and spirit

Manufacturers and users of plastic products, particularly of bags, got to air their grievances, shared their suggestions and exchanged ideas with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and Coimbatore Corporation officials at a functionThe Hinduand The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, organised in the city on Friday.

The aim of the session on ‘Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules' was to enable the stakeholders to come together to know what was needed to implement the law in letter and spirit and the changes, if any, that were required to make Coimbatore an environment-friendly city, as M. Krishnan, the Chamber president, said in his inauguration speech.

K. Jayaraman, Deputy Commissioner, Coimbatore Corporation, cited the example of how the government agencies and stakeholders had come together in Rameswaram and a few other places in the State to bring about a total ban on the use of plastics.

Promising help to the traders and other users, Mr. Jayaraman said frequent meetings of the traders, manufacturers, users and the appropriate government agencies were required to ban the use of plastics products that were less than 40 microns.

More time

In deference to the wishes of traders, the Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, following a meeting held on Friday morning, had decided to give more time to help them fully comply with the rules.

Mr. Jayaraman said that the Corporation officials would be suitably instructed to issue acknowledgement for the seizure of the plastics – a demand placed before the officials by the traders.

He added that such an action was necessary because plastics choked sewer lines too.

Plastic bags that emerged as an alternative to many other forms of containers or packing materials had become a part and parcel of the present day culture that it was proving to be difficult to carry on day-to-day business without plastics.

Impact

K. Senthil Vinayagam and K. Nalini, engineers from the TNPCB explained the law, its importance, and the environmental impact of the use of plastics below 40 microns.

G. Sankaran, president, Tamil Nadu, Pondy Plastic Manufacturers and Merchants Association, said citing paper bags as an alternative to plastic bags was improper as trees had to be cut to manufacture the former. Even cloth bags could not be cited because dyeing those bags was not an environmental-friendly exercise.

He argued that there was no problem with either the manufacture or use of plastics, but only with waste management procedures.

The inability to dispose of the plastic bags was not the manufacturers' or users' concern. It was the job of the civic body. So, a total ban on plastics was not right.

The programme also provided an opportunity for the participants to have their doubts clarified.

Pankaja Srinivasan, Assistant Editor,The HinduMetro Plus, spoke on the need for having such a meeting. She said it would help one another know what was needed to improve the city.

D. Nandakumar, secretary, The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, was also present at the meeting.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL