Kerala

Plastic flags challenge ban on single use plastic

As a ban is in place on the plastic-made national flags, traders in the city are cashing in on sale of tricolours made of cloth to celebrate Independence Day on Monday.

As a ban is in place on the plastic-made national flags, traders in the city are cashing in on sale of tricolours made of cloth to celebrate Independence Day on Monday. | Photo Credit: K. RAGESH

Plastic flags have flooded the market against the backdrop of Har Ghar Tiranga campaign.

Plastic flags have flooded the market against the backdrop of Har Ghar Tiranga campaign. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Whoever came up with the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign on the occasion of the country’s 75th anniversary of Independence may not have imagined that it could pose a challenge to the nationwide ban on single-use plastic enforced just a month ago. National Flags made of plastic are flooding the Indian market, and many people, mostly children, choose to buy these flags as against the ones made of fabric, as they are cheap and available in plenty.

With the heightened demand for national flags after the Prime Minister initiated the campaign, several attempts are being made by the authorities to mass-produce flags in cloth to be distributed among the public to be hoisted at their houses. In Kerala, the Kudumbasree units and various other agencies are producing flags in various sizes to meet the demand.

The recently amended flag code of India specifies that the flags could be made in either cotton, polyester, wool, silk or khadi fabric. It can be either handmade or machine-made. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs had banned the use of plastic flags several years earlier and had urged the states to ensure that they were not in circulation. This order was issued to prevent disrespect of the national flag, as the cheap ones are often thrown away by children after they are used in Independence Day or Republic Day programmes.

However, the ban on plastic flags seems to have gone unnoticed by the authorities. The health wing officials of Kozhikode Corporation, when contacted by The Hindu, were unsure if the ban was in place or that flags have been included among the products banned across the country recently. However, they were dedicated enough to cross check.

“Plastic flags have been included among the banned products under the Government order issued in December 2019”, said P. Shajil Kumar, Health Supervisor of the Corporation, who has been spearheading the squads implementing the ban on single-use plastic. “We will be looking out for plastic flags in our inspections henceforth”, he added.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 10:09:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/plastic-flags-challenge-ban-on-single-use-plastic/article65760987.ece