BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will conduct a massive awareness programme on polythene ban and impose a penalty on misuse of polythene very soon, said BMC environment officer Bikram Keshari Routray on Tuesday.
BMC will conduct a meeting on February 28 where all the concerned parties like the retailers, shopkeepers and small vendors will be briefed on the polythene ban and imposition of penalty.
The provision of penalty for misuse of polythene has been incorporated in a proposal. A final decision on this will be taken after the panchayat polls. “We also want to know how they will deal with the ban. We will advise them to use jute and cotton for carry bags,” said Routray.
The time-frame for the implementation of the ban by the shop owners will be decided at the corporation meeting. The defaulters will be fined before legal action is taken against them. The fine amount has not been decided.
The ban on polythene use was implemented in November 2009 and BMC created its own independent team to monitor it in November 2011 headed by the environment officer, ward officers from every ward and a market superintendent. This was done to increase the number of raids conducted each month and monitor implementation of the ban.
Currently, there is a ban on the use of plastic that is less than 40 micron in thickness. The retailers and shopkeepers are advised to use polythene bags which are thicker than 40 micron and are 100 per cent bio-degradable. Even though a blanket ban may not be possible, BMC is hopeful of curbing polythene use.
The State Pollution Control Board is responsible for the implementation at the manufacturing level. They will make sure that plastic bags in circulation are as per specification. The BMC is responsible for curbing polythene use in the city.