KOCHI: In a surprise raid, two major textile shops in the city were fined `10,000 each for using single-use plastic carry bags, which were banned in the state from January 1.Kalyan Silks and Jayalakshmi Silks got a rude jolt when the Pollution Control Board and Kochi Corporation health wing conducted a raid under the aegis of Fort Kochi sub-collector Snehil Kumar Singh on Wednesday.
“The raids will be conducted in the coming days as well. Action will be initiated if we find anyone using plastic carry bags. Since textile shops are using large amounts of such bags, we have slapped a fine. Many shops were found using plastic, non-woven bags. We have issued a show-cause notice to the shops. If we trace similar violations, strict action will be initiated,” said Singh.
However, Kalyan Silks officials denied using banned plastic carry bags. “We used compostable plastic carry bags. They are degradable and will not be a threat to environment,” said a Kalyan Silks official. Though TNIE tried to contact the officials of Jayalakshmi Silks, they were not available for comments.
“The government has imposed a blanket ban on plastic carry bags and the manufacturers of the carry bags know the prescribed standards they need to follow,” added Singh.
It was after considering the environmental hazards and health issues caused by plastic that the state government imposed a blanket ban on single-use plastic carry bags from January 1.
A fine of `10,000 has been fixed on manufacturers, wholesalers and small traders who defy the ban.
If the ban is violated for the second time, the fine will be `25,000. A third violation will invite closure and a fine of `50,000.