Corporation’s ban on plastics awaits implementation

November 03, 2012 12:00 am | Updated 05:12 am IST - SALEM:

Equipment to measure density of plastics yet to be procured

Salem City Municipal Corporation’s ban on sale and use of plastics below 40 microns could not be implemented from November 1 as planned, since the digital micrometers to measure the density of plastics have not been procured.

With plastic carry bags, cups and water bottles choking the drains and sewers in the city, the civic body had in October held meetings with trade associations, commercial and industrial establishments and sought their cooperation in enforcing the ban. Though the civic body had earlier announced that the ban on plastics would be enforced from November 1, a resolution to purchase the equipment at a cost of Rs. 2.8 lakh was passed only at the council meeting held on October 29. A member of a trade association said that if the civic body is not fully prepared to implement the ban, then why they should enforce it. ‘No awareness programme was conducted for the general public nor advertisements made regarding the ban,’ he added. And the digital micrometer is also not ready, he added.

City Health Officer S. Porkodi told The Hindu that hotels and other eateries would be instructed not to use plastics for packing food, followed by traders and other establishments. She added that inspection could be carried out only after notification was published in the district gazette and procurement of micrometers. To stress this, a meeting was held recently for traders’ associations in Shevapet, she added.

Once implemented, plastics weighing less than 40 microns would be banned from being sold or used by the consumers. Traders would be fined and the banned products will be seized by the health officials. Consumers will also be fined, if found using the banned products. To discourage public from using plastic bags, many of the departmental stores and shops in the city encourage customers by asking them to bring their own bags and give certain discount for that. Customers were also charged for plastic bags at many shops in the city.

Carry bags

Residents wanted the civic body to make availability of cost-effective carry bags, so that the use of plastic bag is curtailed. ‘We are aware of the effects of the non-biodegradable material that pollutes our environment and use of alternative method should be encouraged’, they added.

The civic body was planning to enforce the ban on November 1

Resolution to purchase digital micrometers passed only on October 29

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