BENGALURU: In order to curb the use of plastic in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has decided to declare plastic-free zones across the city, starting with Yelahanka.
Shopkeepers across the 11 wards of the region will be provided with cotton bags. The residents have started a group on WhatsApp to bring violations to the attention of the officials. The model is a replica of that in place in Kolar and Chintamani.
A survey conducted by the BBMP and citizens a few weeks ago revealed the health hazards posed by the use of plastic.
An official, who was on the team, said, “The problem with plastic is that it does not just litter the surroundings but also causes water stagnation that leads to breeding of mosquitoes.”
The corporation has made attempts to end the use of plastic in the past. A penalty of `100 was imposed on violators, but it did not deter anyone. People simply paid the fine or blamed the shopkeeper who gave them the plastic bags.
Sarfaraz Khan, BBMP Joint Commissioner of Yelahanka Zone, said, “All the wards of Yelahanka will see a complete ban on plastic. With the combined efforts of residents and corporators, a door-to-door campaign has already begun.”
The biggest hurdle they have faced so far is getting the residents of apartments involved, as they are rarely available. “But we are making them aware of our plan. This will take time,” Khan added.
The constituency plans to tackle wet waste processing next. Once again, the Kolar model leads the way.
In Kolar, they have successfully implemented a way to compost wet waste by using natural sunlight and coconut leaves.
The method involves making multiple layers of coconut leaves over wet waste and leaving it to dry, out in the sun. The wet waste is thus converted into manure. The method was so successful that Kolar hit the zero-garbage mark during Dasara.
Efforts of the residents and corporators of Yelahanka has drawn praise from the city corporation’s expert committee on solid waste management. N S Ramakanth, a member of the committee, said, “This is commendable. But a complete ban on plastic might not be practical. People should at least refrain from using plastic bags and other articles that are under 40 microns as they are not recyclable.”
Meanwhile the campaign in Yelahanka, advertisements and public announcements are being put out, and pamphlets are being circulated.
Corporator Manjunath Babu, in whose ward the campaign is starting, said, “We have started making the announcements. We will give people 10 days to get rid of all the plastic.”
The BBMP official detailed their plan. “We are going to distribute two bins — green and red — and a bag. The red bin is for sanitary napkins, diapers and medical waste, the green bin is for wet waste and the bag is for dry waste.”
“Other councillors are fighting among themselves to have the scheme introduced in their wards as well,” Babu added.
The Kolar Model
Kolar’s waste management system involves ban on use and sale of plastic under 40 microns thick, door-to-door announcements, awareness drives, segregation of dry and wet waste at the source and active public participation