Visakhapatnam

Single-use plastic carry bags resurface in Vizag

People looking at the illuminated sculptures of fish made with water bottles to create awareness about plastic pollution, at Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.

People looking at the illuminated sculptures of fish made with water bottles to create awareness about plastic pollution, at Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.  

At a time when the district administration has been focussing on controlling COVID-19 outbreak in the city, the menace of single-use plastic has made a come back. A number of shopkeepers, especially street vendors, have been using the banned single-use plastic under 50 microns of thickness in their shops.

Officials from the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) had banned the single-use plastic last year and strictly implemented the decision.

Not just the shopkeepers, even the citizens had stopped using the single-use plastic, and started to use paper bags and other alternatives. However, officials being busy in combating COVID-19 since the last four months, several shopkeepers have started to use the banned products again.

Raids being conducted

Based on the information, teams of GVMC staff have been conducting raids on various commercial establishments, shops in all the zones and are imposing fines. Huge quantities of banned material are being seized.

According to Assistant Medical and Officer of Health Jayaram, apart from daily inspections, special drives are also being organised by the civic body to put an end to the practice.

Fines collected

During the special drives, in Zone I, fine to the tune of about ₹40,000 was collected from various shopkeepers found violating the norms. About 60 kg stock was seized.

Similarly, in Zone II, nearly ₹55,000 fine was imposed and another 60 kg banned plastic was seized from the shops, he said.

“Most of the commercial establishments have stopped using the banned product, but most of the street vendors are still using it. We have been also counselling them,” the A.M.O.H said.

Apart from strictly enforcing the rule of ‘No to single-use plastic,’ another area which the civic body has focussing is to identify and stop manufacturers from bringing out this product.

According to a senior GMC official, there are no manufacturers in the district, but dealers are bringing them from other States and supplying single-use plastic bags.

“When we are asking the shopkeepers, they say that they were just using old stock. However we suspect the stock is being supplied to them by some merchants from Telangana or Odisha,” said a senior official.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 9:41:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/single-use-plastic-carry-bags-resurface-in-vizag/article32263360.ece

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