KOCHI: Plastic carry bags will soon vanish from shopping malls and supermarkets from September 1. Thanks to Kochi Corporation which finally decided to replace plastic carry bags with eco-friendly bags in an effort to reduce plastic waste generation in the city.
Though the Corporation had announced the ban several times, the civic body failed to implement it with shop owners coming down against it. However, this time, the Corporation has already issued a notice to all shopping malls and supermarkets to replace plastic carry bags with either cloth or eco-friendly carry bags.
As per official records, around 70-90 tonnes of non-biodegradable waste was being generated in the city daily. It is estimated this figure has touched over 110 tonnes now. Meanwhile, the Corporation started conducting surprise inspections in all shops in the city. Around 788 shops were inspected and plastic bags were seized from 284 shops. The Corporation also collected Rs 39,500 in fines from shop owners.
A raid conducted at Broadway by the Health Department seized 1.5 tonnes of plastic carry bags below 50 microns. However, the Opposition alleged that supermarkets and shopping malls were not aware of such a ban from September 1. “On an average, five trucks of plastic carry bags are coming to the city. But health officials are yet to trace them. Only small shops are being inspected,” said councillor CK Peter in the council.