Andhra Pradesh's Guntur city to enforce ban on plastic from July 1

As part of it, special task force teams were set up to conduct inspections at shops, malls and roadside businesses, and various NGOs were roped in for the successful implementation of the ban.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

GUNTUR: After Visakhapatnam and Tirumala, Guntur city will now see a complete ban on single-use plastic products from July 1.

The local civic body took the decision in the wake of indiscriminate usage of plastic bags and the harm being done to the environment. Every day, 17 metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated in the Guntur Municipal Corporation limits, out of which 30 per cent are polythene bags that are non-biodegradable.

Only those plastic items with a thickness of over 75 microns will be allowed for use. However, this is not the first time that GMC has announced a plastic ban in the city. The civic body undertook a similar initiative on November 11, 2021.

As part of it, special task force teams were set up to conduct inspections at shops, malls and roadside businesses, and various NGOs were roped in for the successful implementation of the ban.

Apart from promoting the usage of jute and cloth bags, hefty fines of up to Rs 50,000 on plastic manufacturers, Rs 2,500 to Rs 15,000 on vendors and retailers, and Rs 500 on consumers were imposed for violation of the ban.

Due to official laxity, people returned to their old habits a few months later. This time, GMC has launched a 25-day awareness campaign as part of which various programmes are being conducted in the city. "The plastic ban will not be a mere regulation. It will be implemented very strictly in the city," asserted Guntur Municipal Commissioner Keerthi Chekuri.

She added that banners with thickness less than 100 microns will also be banned. "We are determined to turn Guntur into a no-plastic zone. Vendors and retailers have been instructed to replace plastic bags with those of cloth and jute," she said.

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