THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: THE Corporation faces a daunting challenge at managing plastic waste after a recent High Court directive banned burning of solid waste and plastic in public places. While it is a welcome relief for the general public who had been suffering from toxic fumes, the local bodies will find it tough to manage waste without a sound waste management system.
Health standing committee chairman of the Corporation K Sreekumar said the Corporation welcomed the decision and would give strict instructions to officials not to burn waste in public. However, sanitation workers who are engaged in keeping the city clean were not provided with another alternative, said a health official.
Waste management continues to be a major problem for the city which had to suffer a setback in terms of reopening the waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala. Since then, the Corporation has set its focus on decentralised waste management. The civic body was taking all efforts to rid the city of the garbage problem by introducing various waste management programmes, including setting up of aerobic bins and biogas plants in public places.
As it was found that plastic continues to be a major pollutant and a hindrance to waste segregation, the Corporation has imposed restriction on its use from July 1. There is a complete ban on plastic bags below 50 microns thickness, which are difficult to recycle. Similarly, the civic body has also imposed a ban on parchment paper (butter paper) widely used at roadside eateries. Flex banners are banned on streets and public places. Carry bags, which must be above of 50 microns, used by textile shops and other stores will have bear the hologram sticker provided by Corporation. There will be a permanent mechanism for certification and monitoring. Bags made of polypropylene non-woven fabric made from molten plastic have also been banned.
Plastic waste has been found to be the major villain in clogging the drains that resulted in waterlogging in the recent rains. During Operation Anantha it was found that large quantities of plastics reached the drains. The local body collected 300 tonnes of plastic waste in a recently-concluded waste collection drive.
Total ban from July 1
With plastic continuing to be a major pollutant and a hindrance to waste segregation, the Corporation has imposed restriction on its use from July 1. There is a complete ban on plastic bags below 50 microns thickness