A cows eats plastic at a garbage dumping site. (Representational Photo: PTI)
Hyderabad: Even as the Union government gears up to enforce a ban on single-use plastic from July 1, the GHMC is reluctant to adopt the policy due to a lack of alternatives, official sources said.
Besides, ratifying the policy is yet to be discussed at the highest levels of the state government and "lacks administrative and political will", according to a source.
Official sources said that the state government could not take a policy decision as of June 30. "GHMC, as a local body, can have its policy, but unlike other big Metros, the civic body is yet to take initiative. No more single-use plastic means huge quantities of jute or cotton bags would be needed, which means the corporation is not geared up for any of this right now," an official said.
However, forest and environment minister A. Indrakaran Reddy, in a media statement, said that the government would be adopting a different mechanism to ban single-use plastic. He stated that the Telangana state pollution control board (TSPCB) will be taking appropriate measures in this direction.
GHMC, which has been at the forefront of discouraging plastic use, is in a helpless situation as plastic industries located on the outskirts of the city, in Katedan and in other areas, have failed to cooperate.
The last meeting with the plastic manufacturers association was held in the presence of former mayor Bonthu Rammohan. In 2018, MA&UD Minister, K. T. Rama Rao also unveiled grand plans to make Hyderabad a ‘single-use plastic-free city’ by 2022.
The official cited above said, "Some sensitisation happened over plastic usage by encouraging more than 75 microns thickness of polythene covers for getting Swachh Survekshan ranking. Different approaches were adopted to eradicate (it) and even penalties were levied, but supplies could not be cut completely."
More than 80 per cent of plastic ‘smuggled’ into city
One of the reasons GHMC is reluctant to crack down on manufacturers of low-quality plastic in the city is due to challenges posed due to sourcing materials from other states, such as Goa.
It is believed that 80 per cent of the low-quality plastic comes from outside the state. This issue cropped up when the GHMC planned to implement a plastic ban, and officials eventually gave up the idea.
A special task force committee for eliminating single-use plastic was formed in 2021 under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to the state government, but a standard policy could not be adopted.