Raid by MCC Teams to Check Sale/Use of Single-Use Plastics Net Rs 62K in Fines

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Raid by Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Teams to Check Sale/Use of Single-Use Plastics Net Rs 62,000 in Fines who have violated the rules

Mangaluru: Since the ban on single-use plastics, which was notified by the Ministry of Environment on August 2021, came into effect on 1 July 2022, Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has seized 125 kgs of such plastics and collected a fine of Rs 62,000 from sellers and users, according to MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar. The civic body had formed 10 teams to check the sale of single-use plastics in all 60 wards in the city. The teams so far conducted nearly 100 raids.

It should be noted that even though the State government banned single-use plastic products on March 11, 2016, however, people were not following the rules. MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said, “Many traders are selling non-woven polypropylene carry bags by projecting them as cotton bags. Those bags have been made using synthetic plastic polymer polypropylene and hence cannot be recycled. The non-woven polypropylene carry bags have been banned. The civic body is announcing the ban through vehicles which are collecting garbage from the doorsteps of houses and other establishments. It is mainly concentrated on the central business district area”.

Narrating to Team Mangalorean about “What is single-use plastic? Shabarinath Rai-the MCC Zonal Commissioner-Central ZSone said, “The Centre defines it as an object made of plastic that is intended to be used “only once” before being disposed of or recycled. For the purposes of the ban, there is a list of 21 items that come under the definition of single-use plastic, including earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, thermocol for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packaging films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers”.

“Unlike thicker and denser plastic material, single-use plastic objects being light and flexible are less amenable to being recycled. While 99% of plastic is recycled, they constitute heavier plastics that are likely to be collected by rag pickers and plastic waste recyclers. Single-use plastics do not provide an incentive enough for the effort needed to collect them and hence they lie around, leach their toxins into the soil and cause environmental damage in both land and sea,” added Er Rai.

When mentioned to an MCC official, “Why is it so difficult to get greener and more sustainable alternatives to plastic at a similar cost?, the reply was- “Finding an alternative to plastic is not easy, but it is necessary to find solutions. We have got ourselves in a situation where a decision to ban plastic items is non-negotiable. The decision to ban plastic items is very timely, I wish, It would have come a few years back, still, it is a good start. Everyone will have to focus on finding green alternatives. There are sustainable options available in the market like compostable and biodegradable plastic. We need specific facilities to recycle these greener alternatives of plastic and the government should look upon this and start educating the masses so that the consumer is well informed”.

Meanwhile, the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, will also prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having a thickness less than 120 microns with effect from December 31, 2022. In a move that could have a significant impact on checking plastic pollution, India banned the use of ‘single-use plastic’ from July 1, 2022. The Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued the notification last year in August announcing a ban on single-use plastic effective from July 2022, items like Balloon sticks; Cigarette packs; Cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays; Earbuds; Sweet boxes to name a few have also been banned.

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