KSPCB takes a tough stand on ‘compostable’ carry bags

Compostable bags are also covered under the plastic ban that was notified in 2016.File Photo

Compostable bags are also covered under the plastic ban that was notified in 2016.File Photo  

Urges the Central board to not certify bags manufactured in Karnataka

Waste management activists are rooting for the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), which has a taken a tough stand against the so-called compostable bags. The board recently wrote to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) urging it to not accord any certificate to the manufacturers of these bags in Karnataka, where they are banned.

The bags are covered under the plastic ban that was notified in 2016. However, the CPCB has been granting certification to manufacturers and sellers, who are using it to sell the bags in Karnataka.

In the light of this, the KSPCB, in its letter, a copy of which is with The Hindu , has urged the CPCB to also include a condition in the certificate issued to sellers to not sell the ‘compostable’ bags in the State.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep welcomed the move and said the civic body had apprised the KSPCB of issues pertaining to the use of such bags. He said while the civic body had no way of being certain about how “compostable” the bags were, it was a secondary issue as the State had banned even these bags. “The idea is to ban all single-use disposables and reduce the waste footprint,” he said.

‘They’re affixing label’

N.S. Ramakanth, former member of the BBMP’s SWM Expert Committee, told The Hindu that many traders were simply affixing a “compostable” label on plastic carry bags.

“There have been instances when traders thwarted attempts made by BBMP officials to seize the material,” he said, and added that the Solid Waste Management Round Table, a group of waste management experts, had urged the KSPCB to bring these issues to the attention of the CPCB. “We had also cited instances when the so-called compostable bags did not break down in our home compost bins,” he said.

Vani Murthy, who started the Swachha Graha to promote home composting, said the compostable bags need high heat to break down. “Many people started to line their bins with these bags, and eventually they are all getting dumped at the landfills.”

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