Endless plastic menace

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Despite its claim that it is keen to address the plastic menace, the city corporation for the last several months dodged orders of the local self government department to implement the ban on plastic below 40 microns thickness and raise the price of the rest.

While other city corporations have taken steps to implement the order, the Kochi corporation council has not cared to address the issue.

Thiruvananthapuram corporation council has already fixed the minimum price of the various kinds of plastic carry bags and covers. As per the hiked (prohibitive) rate, plastic carry bags of 50, 60 and 70 microns cost Rs 5, Rs 8 and Rs 10 respectively.

The plastic ban came into effect on January 16. Though civic authorities claim to have prepared well beforehand for the ban, sale of carry bags under 40 microns is rampant in all shops. Special squads formed to check the sale of low quality carry bags are not conducting regular raids.

“It will be difficult to implement price hike of plastic bags as the shop owners are getting the bags at a cheap rate from the wholesale dealers. The retailers will give plastic covers free of cost or at a cheap price to the customers,” said sources.

Rangadasa Prabhu, president of the Erna-kulam District Residents Associations apex council is not in favour of the government order.

“The government should promote use of alternative eco-friendly carry bags rather than hiking the rate of plastic carry bags,” he said.

Anti-plastic campaign inaugurated

The city corporation and various other agencies organised programmes for the world environment day. Minister for excise and sports K. Babu inaugurated Bhoomika, the corporation’s anti-plastic and eco-friendly campaign at a function held at the Ernakulam town hall.

The focus of the programme was to create awareness against the use of plastic substances and to promote a decentralised waste management system under which waste generated is processed at the source.

During the function, the minister received the plastic trash collected by schoolchildren and gifted notebooks to them. Mayor Tony Chammany presided over the function.

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