No more plastic  bags from today

Published: 01st October 2016 01:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2016 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: THE Kochi Corporation has decided to strictly enforce ban on plastic carry bags of less than 50 microns from Saturday onwards.
The civic body has formed separate squads in each of its 21 divisions to check the sale and use of plastic bags below 50 microns.
“The squads, which include health inspectors and junior health inspectors, will conduct inspection at retail shops to check the sale of banned carry bags. The teams will be led by health inspectors in uniform,” said Health Standing Committee chairperson Adv Minimol.
No penalty  in first month
Meanwhile, the Corporation has decided not to take action against offenders in the first month (October), but to run a campaign to create public awareness on the plastic menace.
“From November 1 onwards, we will start penalising shops that sell plastic carry bags of less than 50 microns. We will be conducting classes to create awareness among the public, thereby familiarising them with the Plastic Waste Management Rules-2016,”  said Health Standing Committee chairperson Adv Minimol, adding that health inspectors had been given the power to impose penalty of `500-2,500 on offenders.
Awareness class
The Corporation will also organise awareness programmes in associating with the Pollution Control Board (PCB). “Awareness classes on  plastic menace will be conducted for various stakeholders, including residents’ associations and merchants associations.’ In addition, a training programme will be organised for Corporation councillors on October 6, in an effort to educate them,” said Adv Minimol.
Meanwhile, merchants’ associations alleged that the plastic bag ban was being implemented   without proper guidelines. According to them, they are clueless about finding an alternative to plastic bags.
“This is not a new rule as a ban on plastic bags below 50 micron already exists. Though we had decided to implement the ban before Onam, it was delayed due to protests from merchants. From Saturday onwards, there will be complete ban of plastic carry bags below 50 microns,” said Mayor Soumini Jain.

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