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Month After Total Ban, Plastic Bags Still in Use

In BBMP limits, every day, 4,000 tonnes of waste is generated, 1,300 tonnes of which is classified as dry waste, including plastic and metals.

Published: 13th April 2016 03:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2016 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

Montha

BENGALURU: Polythene bags are still in use in the city, a month after a total ban on them came into effect.

The government banned plastic carry bags, cups, plates, flags, buntings, flexes, banners, and sheets used on dining tables in marriage halls. The ban is being implemented from March 11.

Also banned are plastic sachets for chips, and goods made with thermocol and micro beads. But these items are still available on the market.

In BBMP limits, every day, 4,000 tonnes of waste is generated, 1,300 tonnes of which is classified as dry waste, including plastic and metals.

The BBMP has 188 dry waste collection centres. “Though each unit has a capacity two tonnes, the BBMP is not getting dry waste as expected. High calorie plastics like milk sachets, tetra packs, and bottles are picked by pourakarmikas. And we are getting polythene bags thinner than 40 microns,’’ a staffer at the waste processing centre in Vijayanagar said.

N S Ramakanth, BBMP Solid Waste Management Expert Committee member, said changes were in evidence at HSR Layout, Koramangala, Yelahanka and some other neighbourhoods.

“But they are minor. The BBMP is short of staff.  They don’t have staff to impose penalties on those not segregating waste. For 198 wards, they have 125 health inspectors. At some places, one engineer is given charge of two wards. It is not humanly possible for one engineer to manage two wards,’’ he said.

The biggest challenge is getting rid of cheap quality polythene bags. Vendors use thin plastic bags as they have no cheap alternative.

“Moreover, people do not carry bags from home. This is why the usage is rampant,’’ he said.

Allowed

Milk sachets and polythene bags used in nurseries.

Alternatives

Plates: steel, ceramic, glass and melamine. For large gatherings, banana leaves or plates made of arecanut leaf or sugarcane bagasse. Steel tumblers are recommended.

Smuggled In From Gujarat

All units in Peenya that used to make polythene bags, cups, and plates are shut, according to Mahantesh, president of the Peenya Plastic Manufacturers Association. Owners and workers are idle, rendered unemployed by the ban. “Bags are coming from outside the state, especially Gujarat, which has the largest number of plastic manufacturing units in India. The government is keen in shutting our units, but is not checking lorries at the check posts,” he alleged. He alleges the authorities take bribes and allow plastic material into Bengaluru. “The ban is only encouraging corruption and the black market,” he told City Express.



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