THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state’s New Year resolution for 2020 is to bid goodbye to single-use plastic. The government is stern about reducing plastic waste. Flex materials, drinking water bottles below 300 millilitre and disposable cups will come under banned products, though one can still purchase milk and most branded edible items in plastic packets as some of the products have been excluded from the ban.
The ban was announced after an expert committee suggested measures to reduce plastic waste. The state generates close to 45,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year. A city like Kochi discards close to 10 tonnes of plastic per day. Recycling facilities in the state are minuscule compared to the amount of plastic generated. The expert committee mooted the ban as it found that recycling alone could address the issue. However, there are doubts regarding the effectiveness of the ban in the absence of a viable alternative. Though there was a similar ban on plastic carry bags in 2017, it is still in use.
Despite protests by merchants, the government has decided to impose a hefty fine of `10,000 on producers, wholesale distributors and retailers who violate the law. Second-time violators will be fined `25,000 and every subsequent violation will attract a fine of `50,000, along with cancellation of license. Local body secretaries and Kerala State Pollution Control Board officials have been empowered for the purpose. The High Court has prohibited the state from taking action against those holding stock of banned plastic materials till January 15.
Plastic bags, sheets, plates, cups, spoon, straw, stir paddle
Thermocol/styrofoam plate, cup
Plastic-coated paper cup, plate,
Non-woven bag, plastic flag, decorations
Plastic water pouch, non-branded plastic juice packet
Drinking water bottles below 300 ml
Garbage bag, flex banner
Cling film to cover food and vegetables
Plastic bags for packing cereals and pulses
Plastic wrap for meat and fish
Packets for branded items
Branded juice packets
Plastic for export purposes
Plastic used by pharma industry
Biodegradable items (ISO 17088:2008)