Guest Column: How to beat plastic pollution

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 5, 2018, 6:50 am IST
Updated Jun 5, 2018, 6:50 am IST
Over 600 tonnes of plastic was seized in the year 2017-18 and 1.8 crore fine has been levied by the BBMP.
Over 10 large scale plastic manufacturing industries shut down by the palike.
 Over 10 large scale plastic manufacturing industries shut down by the palike.

This World Environment Day  is addressing the  single biggest man-made  pollutant on earth, the innocuous plastic . Plastic is a part of our daily lives like nothing else is. Its versatility is a boon and its  permanence a bane. While industry is spending millions of rupees constantly improving  packaging to ensure its customers world- wide are kept happy, the municipalities are now grappling with the monstrous problem of dealing with plastic waste, which is not just growing in volumes, but is also hard to tackle owing to its incredibly complicated composition that no technology can deal with.

For effective collection of plastic waste, the BBMP must upgrade its dry waste collection centres  to  receive  and store the volumes  that a ward generates. Supporting these waste picker -run operations will  maximise the plastics that can be sent for recycling.

 

However, not all plastic can be recycled, and this is where the ban on its use plays an important role. The BBMP and the FSSAI, which are the licencing authorities for the branded operations, must ban single- use disposable plastics including carry bags,and  use and throw cutlery used mostly by the food and beverage operators (FBOs) , the smaller food carts and stalls as well as the street vendors.

The regulatory authorities like the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board( KSPCB) must ensure that the manufacturing operations are compliant with the ban and shut down the manufacturing units of the carry bags and thin single- use plastics, and stop the entry of outstation supplies.

While the necessary policies and rules for all of the above is in place, implementation is tardy. The most important requirement is for industry to examine how producers can start taking responsibility for the re-design packaging and till such time it is upto the consumers to refuse single- use disposables and multi- layer packaging  and  send a strong message to it.

Sandya Narayanan, Member SWMRT.

...
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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