Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday launched ‘Meendum Manjappai’ scheme to promote the use of cloth bags by the public and discourage the use of plastic bags, which have become rampant in the State over the years. Contending that plastic is harmful to environment, Mr. Stalin called upon the people to completely reduce its usage.
Launching the campaign in Kalaivanar Arangam here, Mr. Stalin recalled how long ago yellow-coloured cloth bags were symbolic of auspicious occasion but eventually plastic bags replaced them.
The Chief Minister also listed out the harmful effects of single-use plastic products and highlighted the need for replacing them with cloth bags.
“If plastics are thrown away, it would take several years for it to decompose, and it adversely affected the soil. If the soil is affected, agriculture would be affected. Moreover, cattle eat plastics and die,” Mr. Stalin lamented. If plastic carry bags are thrown into waterbodies, the organisms there are affected and the water is polluted too, he pointed out. “The sea is affected when single-use plastic products are thrown into it. Aquatic species feed on them and die,” he added.
Toxic chemicals emanate from burning single-use plastic products and they affect the air quality, Mr. Stalin said. “So, considering the extent of its damage to the environment, we need to stop the use of plastics," he appealed.
So far, electricity connection to 130 factories have been withdrawn for violating the ban against single-use plastics. “The government alone could not implement this, but the general public should join hands. If people reject plastic products, there can be a definite change,” the Chief Minister said.
Minister for Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments P.K. Sekarbabu, Minister for Environment Siva V. Meyyanathan, Chennai Central MP Dayanidhi Maran, Secretary of Environment and Forests Supriya Sahu, Chairman of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board A. Udhayan, German Consul General in Chennai Karin Christina Maria Stoll and senior officials participated in the event.