KOCHI: The state government on Monday told the Kerala High Court a complete ban on plastic could not be implemented in the state in one stroke, as it would trouble several people. In an affidavit, V Valasa, Additional Secretary, Government Secretariat, submitted time was required to establish cheap, biodegradable alternatives to plastic carry bags. Such alternatives to replace plastic carry bags were yet to be established.
“The government has also taken measures to control the burning of plastic and made it a punishable offence. The government is also encouraging Kudumbashree units to make biodegradable alternatives such as cloth and paper bags for replacing plastic carry bags,” the affidavit said.The affidavit was filed in response to a petition by S Seetharaman, secretary of the Aluva-based All Kerala River Protection Council, and others demanding a complete ban on the manufacture, import, storage, and use of all kinds of plastic bags. The court had asked the government to take a positive decision on banning all types of plastic carry bags as the first step in eradicating plastic waste menace.
It said it seems the government’s attempts is to arrive at some compromise,” it said. The government submitted once the Centre notified rules in a matter in the concurrent list it was not open to the state to issue separate rules deviating from the Central rules and banning plastic carry bags.
“There is no provision in the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, empowering the state government to ban use of plastic carry bags entirely. The state strived to strictly enforce the rules and has already banned plastic carry bags less than 50 micron thick,” the government said.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition by S Seetharaman, secretary of the Aluva-based All Kerala River Protection Council, and others demanding a complete ban on the manufacture, import, storage, and use of all kinds of plastic bags.