Ban on single-use plastic falters

Local bodies in the state are struggling to impose the ban on single-use plastic which came into effect in the state in January 2020.

Published: 11th March 2022 07:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2022 07:10 AM   |  A+A-

plastic ban, banned

Image used for representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Local bodies in the state are struggling to impose the ban on single-use plastic which came into effect in the state in January 2020. The state government announced a complete ban on the sale, storage, manufacturing and transportation of single-use plastic products but the ban order remains on paper as the flow of such products from other states continues unhindered.

Illus: Express

As per the data with the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, the state generates around 3,521 tonnes of solid waste daily and 1,31,400 tonnes of plastic waste every year. The use of single-use plastic products has increased exponentially since the Covid outbreak in 2020.

Board chairman A B Pradeep Kumar told TNIE that the local bodies in the state have intensified their drives against single-use plastic. “Huge quantities of such products are arriving in the state despite the ban. The Centre needs to fully prohibits manufacturing and distribution of single-use plastic,” said Pradeep Kumar.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has convened a meeting with all states on March 17 to discuss the implementation of the ban order and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), he added. “We will be raising all these issues with the CPCB during the meeting. We want the Centre to intervene and prevent the inter-state transfer of single-use plastic products. Coordinated efforts need to be made across the state to root out plastic,” said Pradeep Kumar. The PCB is also planning to demand more reliable testing for eco-friendly alternatives flooding the Kerala market, to make sure they live up to the claims. 
Extended Producer Responsibility

Recently, the Union Ministry for Environment notified comprehensive guidelines on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging in the new Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022. The new amendment holds producers, importers and brand owners responsible for the disposal of plastic packaging and recycling.

The State PCB has also placed a proposal before the state government to collect fees from brand owners and producers for door-to-door collection of such waste from households.

An official of the PCB said the local bodies across the state have initiated efforts to deploy Haritha Karma Sena for door-to-door dry waste collection.

“We have suggested the state impose a fee from the brand owners to strengthen the collection of plastic waste,” said the official. “If the local bodies fail to give steady wages to the workers engaged in waste collection, the system would collapse,” said the official.

The CPCB would launch a centralised online portal for the registration of producers, importers, brand owners, and plastic waste processors of plastic packaging waste this month. “Once the portal is launched, the brand owners and manufacturers will have to register and comply with the EPR norms. But the state needs to strengthen the grass root-level dry waste collection to eliminate single-use plastic,” said the official.

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