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Plastic carry bags, a growing cancer in the city

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City Corporation that secured aspot among top 10 cleanest cities across the nation in Swachh Sarvelc-shan generates 436 tons of domestic waste each day. Of this plastic wastes account for 30 per cent. The component of plastic wastes would be higher if plastic carry bags clogging the sewers and roads were collected and accounted for. To overcome the challenges of plastic waste, the city corporation adopted the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 to ban the use of plastic carry bags less than 50 micron thick, but little is being done to ensure compliance. Though the use of plastic carry bags less than 40-microns and 50-microns thick has been banned, environmental activists aver that even 20-micron plastic carry bags are being sold by labelling them as 50-micron plastic bags.Recently the city corporation seized 1.6 tons of plastic carry bags and collected about Rs.2,000 as a penalty from the offenders.

However, it failed to curb the circulation of plastic car-ry bags as wholesale and large scale dealers who supply carry bags sourced from other districts conveniently sell them. As the Centre notified the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 with revised anti-plastic measures, it is learnt that Tiruchy corporation back in August 2016 implement-ed the same act giving more teeth to the sanitary inspec-tors and other officials for seizing plastic carry bags less than 50-micron thickness. It was not just the problem with the civic body alone to tackle the mounting plastic waste but the absence of behavioural change as a pre-dominant reason for plastic pollution. "If our shop refuses to give the customers plastic carry bags, from their next purchase they will buy the items from other nearby outlets that give plastic carry bags. It will be hard for us to stop using plastic carry bags when people demand them," says R Sundaresan, a departmental shop owner in Subramaniapuram. Meanwhile, N Ramakrishnan, founding secretary, MGR Nalpani Mandram here wanted the civic body to continue anti plastic raids in source points instead of penalising small shops that bought the carry bags. When contacted, the civic body officials said, "Recently we had surprise inspections in Ponmalai and Srirangam zones to curb the sales of plastic carry bags, and a pen-alty between Rs.50 to Rs2,000 was collected from violators among the 150 shops inspected. Synchronised inspections to curb sales of plastic carry bags will soon be done."
Source epaper. . new indianexpress. corn/ 

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