BENGALURU: A series of plastic raids on various restaurants, eateries and vendors took place in March by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. However, they were puzzled when vendors cited that they were using Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) certified compostable plastic bags.
“When we were seizing plastic carry bags, straws, cutlery and cups, several of the bags had the CPCB certification printed on them. Vendors are using this as an excuse to continue using these bags despite the ban on any kind of plastic in Karnataka since 2016. We brought the issue to the notice of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB),” said Randeep D, Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management).
“The point is to ban use of single-use plastic, as these will just add to the solid waste collection in the city and state. These are not reusable like cloth bags, steel bottles or cutlery. It is also not possible to verify if each bag is indeed compostable,” Randeep added.
CPCB gives pan-India certification to manufacturers and sellers when it comes to compostable plastic. KSPCB wrote to CPCB on March 29, giving reference to its 2016 ban on plastic bags including compostable plastic.
The letter reads, “CPCB is granting certification to the manufacturers or sellers of compostable plastic carry bags. It has come to the knowledge of the state board that many sellers are intending to sell these bags based on the certification from the centre.”
It added, “It is requested not to grant certification to the manufacturer of compostable carry bags in Karnataka and to incorporate a condition in the certificate issued to sellers to not sell these plastic bags in Karnataka.”
A senior official at KSPCB said, “We are not sure about the contents of the material when it comes to biodegradable plastic. Further, in the guise of compostable or biodegradable plastic, we may end up with all kinds of fake products. We do not have a fool-proof method to distinguish them. Based on the state’s plastic ban, we wrote to the centre to exempt us.”