BENGALURU: The state government may have announced its plan to ban plastic across Karnataka, but enforcing it will be a big challenge for the civic agency. While experts believe a complete plastic ban will go a long way in solving the garbage crisis, civic authorities know they have their work cut out.
A senior BBMP official said under the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, sale of plastic bags less than 40 microns in thickness is already prohibited, but such bags are still in use in small shops. “We don’t have enough staff to enforce the ban. We used to conduct raids, but not regularly. During the raids, we would seize the bags and shut the units. They would be reopened later with the influence of local leaders.
We could not enforce the ban due to political pressure,” he said.
Even with a complete ban, the challenges are going to be no different, he opined.
BBMP Commissioner Kumar Naik told Express that using plastic has become a habit for many. “Enforcing the ban is a big challenge. Now that the government has issued a notification on this, once it is approved we need to assign roles and responsibilities to officials. This would make it easier for us. We need a multi-pronged approach to enforce plastic ban. We need to stop the source (manufacturing units) and expect cooperation from the end users (the public),” he said.
However, officials know production is not confined to the borders of the state. “If we ban them here, there are units outside the state in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh that produce and send them to Karnataka,” he said.
Segregation at source must from January
The city administration is set to enforce waste segregation at source from January. On Thursday, Bengaluru legislators sat down with Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and had exhaustive deliberations on the garbage problem. They decided that a door-to-door awareness campaign would be run to educate citizens on the need to segregate waste. BJP MLA Suresh Kumar said the state has drawn up plans to utilise abandoned quarry pits to dispose of garbage. George is said to have promised to recruit more pourakarmikas by the end of December.