HYDERABAD: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech had mentioned on the need for freedom from single-use plastic in the country. In Telangana, this freedom might remain unachievable if the State government continues with its current set of laws governing the use of plastic.
Single-use plastics are any plastic item that is discarded soon after its usage. Single-use plastics include a gamut of plastic products including, disposable plastic or thermocol cutlery, bottles, pouches and carry bags. Usage of such plastic products continues to be legal in Telangana, even though many States have imposed a complete ban on them.
The State till now has only banned the manufacture, stocking, sale and use of plastic carry bags less than 50 microns in thickness. However, there is no regulation on the use of any other single-use plastics. There have been only token measures by the State government towards regulating usage of single use plastic, like directing its municipal bodies not to use such plastic.
States like Maharashtra have already imposed a complete ban on single-use plastics, which include plastic carry bags above 50 microns and disposable plastic cutlery. In Hyderabad, one can see disposable plastic cutlery or plastic carry bags being widely used for food packaging or shopping.
Telangana is also worst-off when it comes to recycling of plastic waste. As per the State government’s own data submitted to the CPCB, published by it recently in the gap analysis report on compliance to solid waste management rules, only two percent of plastic waste in the State get recycled, whereas the State generates 685MT of plastic waste every day.
Manikonda Vedakumar of Forum for a Better Hyderabad said that the government should form a committee and look into framing its own policies.