Sromona Bhattacharyya Bhattacharyya
Hailing from Kolkata and now a resident of Bengaluru, Sromona is a multimedia journalist who has a knack for digging stories that truly deserve attention.
Despite the Karnataka State Government’s blanket ban on plastic that came into effect more than two years ago, the local vendors in Bengaluru’s markets continue to flout the rules that seek to make the state plastic free.
It must be remembered that prior to 2016, the government had banned the use of plastic bags which were less than 40 microns in thickness, however, 10th May 2016 saw the banning of sale and production of all things plastic within the state.
To fasten the rule, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had also begun fining those who were seen using plastic as well as manufacturing units as well. Even though all seems well on paper, Bangalore continues to grapples with this ban on plastic.
Malini Parmar, a member of Solid Waste Round Table Management (SWMRT) and Bangalore Eco Team, while talking to The Logical Indian said that looking at the pace at which the rules are being implemented, it might take up to five or even ten years to make the state plastic free.
“To make things faster fines should be imposes heavily on those who are seen carrying plastic and alternatives to plastic carry bags should be readily available,” Parmar added.
Similarly, when The Logical Indian spoke with a local vendor, Rajlakhsmi, in Banashankari area of Bangalore, it was revealed that like most vendors in the area, she gets plastic covers from K.R Market and upon asking why she keeps using it, she said, “The customers do not get bags and we have to use plastic carry bags to give the products to them.”
She further added that the BBMP health inspectors, who are otherwise supposed assigned to collect fines upon finding plastic usage, has never even come to the area for inspection.
However, Dr. Siddappaji, BBMP Health Officer of Bangalore East Zone said that the BBMP looks at the level of implementation while the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) looks at the manufacturing units. He further said that the Palike goes on regular inspections and fines are incurred by those who are seen using plastic in the city.
The BBMP in a 2016 circular had clearly laid down the pointers that explains the ban as well as the fine that are to be imposed. It also draws attention to the fact that Bangalore produces 4000 metric tonnes of solid waste a day out of which 350 to 400 metric tonnes is plastic waste.
Plastic garbage is one of the major sources of pollution. The products made of plastic are often non-biodegradable, hence, take millions of years to decompose. Plastic, which is often commonly used in landfills creates irreversible environmental damage in land and water.
The Logical Indian urgest its readers to take the first step forward towards a greener earth by saying “No” to plastic.
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