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Despite ban, unabated use of plastic continues in Odisha

The volume of plastic seizure was below 10 kg in 15 districts. Photo: Biswaranjan Rout

The volume of plastic seizure was below 10 kg in 15 districts. Photo: Biswaranjan Rout  

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Despite the ban on single-use plastic in all urban areas of Odisha since October 2 last year, the use of plastic continues unabated across the State, largely due to the lack of strong enforcement.

While the government has collected a meagre fine of ₹59.20 lakh, only 21,846 kg of plastic was seized up to December 15, 2019. In 18 out of 30 districts, the district-wise fine collection has not even crossed ₹1 lakh.

The information came to light during a recent video conference meeting between Chief Secretary and all district collectors.

Districts like Balasore and Deogarh have collected a meager ₹2,900 and ₹1,400 respectively during October, November and December. As far as volume of plastic seized in raids is concerned, a total 5 kg of plastic was found by authorities in Deogarh. The amount of plastic seized was 60 kg in Jajpur, 76 kg in Boudh, 117 kg in Nuapada, 125 kg in Jagatsinghpur, 131 kg in Nabarangapur and 192 kg in Balasore.

In December, four districts — Jagatsinghpur, Kadhamal, Kendrapara and Sambalpur — have neither seized any plastic nor collected any fines. The volume of plastic seizure was below 10 kg in 15 districts including, Boudh, Puri Subarnapur, Nayagarh, Nabarangapur, Balasore, Deogarh and Nuapada.

Single-use plastic is easily available at groceries and eateries across the State. Plastic wastes was also found littered on the fringes of wildlife sanctuaries in the State during the month of December, when New Year celebrations were at their peak.

Wildlife experts have expressed concerns over animals consuming plastic leftovers in forests. “When the government duly issued a notification prohibiting the manufacture, sale, trade, import, storing, carrying, transportation and distribution of the single-use plastics, it was incumbent upon it to enforce its instruction,” said Hemanta Rout, a Kendrapara-based environmentalist.

On September 30, the State Forest and Environment Department in a notification issued on September 30, said the State government has prohibited the manufacture, sell, trade, import, storing, carrying, transportation and distribution of the single-use plastics.

The State Pollution Control Board was responsible for closing down industries producing plastic products.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:12:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/despite-ban-unabated-use-of-plastic-continues-in-odisha/article30487787.ece

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