CHENNAI: The New Year is here, and so is the ban on single-use plastic products in the State. Is the government prepared to enforce the ban? Are you, as a citizen, ready to shun plastics? The State, for its part, has formed special teams to implement the ban, but the success of the drive will depend on how far citizens are willing to change their lifestyle, say experts.
If Monday’s collection drive for old plastic products is anything to go by, it looks like denizens are not yet ready to fully let go of the banned items. The initiative received a poor response, with the entire city depositing just 1,883 kg of banned plastic waste. In areas such as Tondiarpet, Royapuram and Thiruvika Nagar, not a single kg of plastic items was deposited. On contrary, residents of Teynampet deposited a whopping 580 kg of banned items — the highest in the city.
“Residents are enthusiastic about the ban, but they must realise that efforts must begin in their own homes,” said a zonal official. To compensate, the Corporation is planning to go the extra mile and organise a “door-to-door collection drive”, according to sources in the Corporation’s Health Department.
Meanwhile, authorities are planning to extend the ban beyond the 14 restricted items. The government is planning to crack the whip on multinational companies by introducing a policy of “extended producer responsibility”. This is to cut the usage of multi-layer plastics like chocolate wrappers, which are also not recyclable.
This is crucial because single-use plastics form just 47 per cent of the total plastic waste. The remaining 53 per cent is multi-layered plastics. A meeting headed by Shambu Kallolikar, chairman of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and environment secretary, was held on Monday at the secretariat, where it was decided to adopt “carrot and stick” policy in dealing with problematic multi-layer plastics.
Kallolikar told Express that in another 15 days government would come out with a workable model and use EPR to effectively remove mutli-layer plastics from the trash. “These are the most problematic plastics of the lot. We are looking at a couple of models adopted by Maharastra and Karnataka,” he said.
|What is banned||Alternatives for banned plastics|
Plastic sheets/film used for food wrapping
Plastic sheets used as dining table covers
Plastic-coated paper plates
Plastic-coated paper cups
Carry bags of all thickness
Plastic-coated carry bags
Non-woven polypropylene bags
Plantain leaves, areca nut leaves
Bamboo, wooden products