BHUBANESWAR: As Centre gears up for a country-wide prohibition on manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items from July 1, the Civic body on Wednesday said it will intensify enforcement measures in the coming days to prevent use of the banned product. The enforcement team of the civic body visited Rajmahal and Bapuji Nagar area and seized polythene packets from different stores. Around Rs 7,000 fine was also collected from the violators.
The drive, however, looked ‘symbolic’ as it hardly deterred vendors and customers in other parts of the city from using polythene, thermocol cutlery and other such single-use plastic items. The Civic body has also not been able to prevent use of single-use plastic, that constitutes nearly 70 per cent of trash in the city. Despite a blanket ban on use of single-use plastic items such as polythene bags, disposable plates, glass, cups and spoons in the city, its use is rampant in the Capital.
The State government had banned single-use plastic in Bhubaneswar since October 2018. Accordingly, the vendors has been restricted from using polythene of less than 50-micron thickness. Single-use disposable cutlery made of thermocol (polystyrene), polyurethane and similar products of plastic such as dish, spoon, cup, plate, glass, fork, bowl, pouch and container of any size and shape except for packing and selling of milk and other ancillary milk products and thermocol decorative materials, have been banned.
BMC officials said they have collected around Rs 26.42 lakh fine between December 2018 and May 2022 and seized around 21 tonne plastic in this period. They, however, said the drive that had been hampered due to Covid and will be intensified in the coming days.
“We had given time to the vendors from June 5 to do away with use of polythene and other single-use plastic items. Strong enforcement will be taken July 1 onwards,” said Mayor Sulochana Das. Municipal Commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange said apart from enforcement, awareness among masses will be strengthened.