THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Back to back floods have devastated the state. However, the government is yet to initiate steps to ban single-use plastic products or disposables, which is one of the prime reasons that have worsened the floods in recent times.
Though a stakeholder panel was constituted by the government after 2018 floods to ban disposables, the authorities are yet to take any step.
As per statistics, Kerala produces over 400 tonnes of plastic waste daily, and four per cent of the total waste generated in the state is plastic.
According to sources, the state is sitting on the report as any ban-order on disposables would have a direct impact on its plastics manufacturing industry. There are around 3,000 small, medium and large scale manufacturers in the state with an annual turnover of `2500 crore.
Other states including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra had banned single-use plastic products and disposables following flooding. According to the State Pollution Control Board, they have submitted a report in this regard to the chief secretary.
“A special stakeholders’ panel was formed soon after the first flood to carry out a study on the impact of plastic waste. We have submitted a report to the chief secretary. Now, the state government has asked the Suchitwa Mission to give a final list on the products to be banned,” said an official.
However, according to officials, a change in raw materials used for production would resolve the issue.
“There are environment-friendly raw materials which could be easily replaced with the plastic used currently. They would be able to use the same machinery for the purpose,” the official added....