BENGALURU: Although Karnataka banned use of plastic in 2016, the menace is still prevalent in the city. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been conducting various drives and routine checks to bring down its use. Despite continuous efforts, the use has increased, compared to last year. About 40,176 kg of plastic was seized last year, and fine worth Rs 55.93 lakh was levied. This year (April 2018 to March 2019), the number has increased to 1,17,348 kg of plastic and a penalty of Rs 67.56 lakh has been levied.
According to officials, the West zone and Bommanahalli have been the top two areas to be fined the most. Rs 10.75 lakh was collected as fine in the West for 3,942 kg of plastic and a fine of Rs 11.38 lakh was levied for 62,539 kg in Bommanahalli.
Chief Health Officer (Public) Manoranajan Hegde said the use of plastic has increased across the city despite the ban imposed in the state. “Small sectors like hotels, pushcarts and bakeries are using more plastic than the others. Large sectors like malls and shopping complexes have reduced the use of plastic bags. But plastic straws, cups, plates and spoons are still used widely,” added Hegde.
S K Savita, health officer of Bommanahalli zone, said, “We fine charges against plastic users every single time and have also conducted various awareness campaigns, but the smaller sectors do not adopt any other method.”Sundar G, a pushcart vendor in Ganganagar market, said buying plastic bags is more
feasible than cloth bags.
“Each cloth bag costs nothing less than Rs 7, depending on the quality and size. We cannot
afford to distribute such bags and most people are not ready to pay an extra amount for them. It will be easier if BBMP distributes a few cloth bags to help our situation,” he said.
The corporation is planning to conduct more awareness campaigns in places like malls, factories and places where there is a huge gathering. “After the elections, we will plan a series of programmes to reduce the menace. Also, we will concentrate on wholesale dealers of plastic and market places to reduce the source,” Hegde said.
E-waste awareness drive kick-starts in Koramangala
Non-profit organisations Saahas and Ensyde began an awareness drive for their e-waste collection pilot project, which will begin on May 11. This programme will take place in Koramangala 3rd, 4th and 8th block. “After the first awareness campaign in 8th block, we will move to the next block. We will also start collecting waste from 8th block so that the process is faster,” explained Rajalakshmi Gopalakrishnan, project coordinator, Saahas. The team is using mobile vans to make announcements and going door to door to explain the mixing of e-waste with dry waste. The pilot project will be conducted for six months and if successful, will be conducted in the other 197 wards. The waste collected will be given to E Parisara, authorised E-waste recyclers.