VISAKHAPATNAM: Single-use plastic product traders continue buying banned plastic materials in bulk from other places including Odisha for local retail business while GVMC is getting ready to make Vizag a plastic-free city from June 5.
Environmentalists have called upon enforcement agencies to keep an eye on these traders and manufacturing units before a public awareness campaign on the ban is started.
India Youth for Society (IYS), an NGO affiliated to GVMC that is controlling plastic consumption in the city in recent times, said some rackets are at work.
Collector Mallikarjuna, who launched the Plastic-free Vizag programme, told Deccan Chronicle that there were chances of traders procuring banned plastic items from outside the city or manufacturing them within the city limits.
“We will suggest eco-friendly materials such as cloth bags as an alternative,” Mallikarjuna said.
GVMC Commissioner Lakshmisha invited suggestions from the public on steps to control the use of banned plastic, and also information against those who violated the law. The GVMC will set up a special enforcement body to keep an eye on such violators.
In the next step, plastic items of less than 125 microns will also be banned from January 1, 2023.
“We advise people not to use plastic materials in banners and instead go for cloth banners and paper bags. Eco bazaars are also being set up at RK Beach and some other areas. We are also in talks with manufacturing units that can produce eco-friendly bags and such materials,” Lakshmisha told DC.
There were as high as 300 tonnes of hazardous plastic in every 800-1000 tonnes of garbage collected from the city per day in Visakhapatnam. This time, during the Giri Pradakshina (when the devotees move around the hill), fresh water was supplied sans water packets, he added.
Ward volunteers will be pressed into service to activate the campaign. If needed, kiosks will also be set up.