Bengaluru: Bengaluru boasted of being one of the first cities in the country to ban plastic carry bags in 2016.
As soon as the ban came into effect, so-called “eco-friendly” bags started flooding the market.
These bags were marked ‘bio-degradable bags’, ‘I am not plastic’, ‘I am Ecofriendly’ and ‘I am made from plant material’ and were stocked at supermarkets and other shops. But it was only to fool customers as these bags were neither biodegradable nor free of plastic.
The Central Pollution Control Board on January 7 released a list of companies selling plastic products in the name of compostable products on the basis of fake certificates.
The list has the names of two well-known Bengaluru companies – Envigreen and Biogreen.
Solid waste management expert Ram Prasad, who is also the convener of Friends of Lakes, said, “This reflects the utter failure of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in curbing plastics. If the products sold by these two Bengaluru companies are not biodegradable, then they are plastic and this has made attempts to ban plastic a farce.”
He said, “It is not that officials of the pollution control board are not aware of the composition of these bags. It is just that they are keeping quiet for obvious reasons.”
The Central Pollution Control Board has stated that these companies have not been authorised and were wrongly using the certificate issued by them as per Rule 4(h) of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016. It stated that this is non-compliance of the provisions of PWM Rules 2016, as amended 2018, and demanded action against the companies mentioned in the list for selling fake bags.
“A stern action has to be taken against the guilty. Some claim that their products are made of corn starch and compostable materials which will decompose in six months. But it is not so. They are just made out of plastic with some adulteration,” Mr Ram Prasad said.
He said that single-use plastics have to be banned for the good of the nation. Repeated calls to reach officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike went in vein....