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Corporation cracks whip on sale of plastics below 50 micron

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TRICHY: Initiating a drive against the use of plastics below 50 microns, the civic microns, the civic body has started cracking the whip on shops selling plastic in the form of bags, tea cup and plastic pouches to pack food items. The move comes close on the heels of the launch of segregated waste from residents in the past few weeks.
While dry and wet waste is collected separately for the ease of recycling it, plastic below 50 microns comes mostly with wet waste collected by the civic body workers every day. Plastic material used by eateries and hotels to pack food items remains a bottleneck for the civic body to effectively manage waste in the city. These pouches and carry bags with leftover food items are unsuitable for recycling and dumped in the dumping yard.
While the sale of plastics below 50 microns is banned as per the Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, the civic body is cracking down on shops selling these banned plastics. Over 650 kgs of plastics were seized in Ponmalai zone alone on Tuesday from about 150 shops while conducting surprise inspections. An amount of Rs 1,550 was collected as fine from the violators.

"Most plastics are in the form of plastic cover, pouches and rectangular sheets used to pack food items. These plastics are used by eateries and shops who were targeted on Tuesday," said a sanitary officer from Trichy corporation.
"Many of the restaurants have started using plastics boxes above 50 microns to pack food items in recent times. Further, the use of pouches made of silver foil to pack liquid food too has been proven effective as food doesn't stick in the pouch," said city corporation commissioner and special officer N Ravichandran.
Saying that these are effective alternatives to the below-50 micron plastic bags, the commissioner said that it could neither be considered wet waste nor dry for having leftover food sticking to it. Such waste goes unprocessed and makes its way to Ariyamangalam dumping yard to turn landfills, he said.
"Since silver foil may not be affordable for roadside eateries, we are looking for alternatives so that the use of plastics can be discouraged," added the commissioner. The civic body has planned surprise inspections in shops at all the four zones of the city corporation in the upcoming days to discourage the use of plastics.

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