Chennai: At a time when Tamil Nadu has been disoriented by the coronavirus pandemic, single-use plastic, banned since 2018, has slowly made a comeback.
In the past five months, as Covid 19 cases soared in the state, requiring use of a large number of PPE kits, gloves and face masks, plastic has sneaked back into our midst, and unscientific disposal has gone back to the pre-pandemic era.
Making this very point, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Greater Chennai Corporation to file status reports on single-use plastic ban.
It specifically wanted details of fines issued and prosecutions launched against violators.
It was June 25, 2018 that the Tamil Nadu government banned single-use plastic. Peitioner Antony Rubin, who moved the NGT, says the use of plastic has been indiscriminate as the authorities are disoriented by the pandemic.
‘I think it is high time we implemented the government order strictly. A lot of stores are back to using plastic bags. We have seen that manufacture of plastic carry bags continues to happen in Chennai. I want heavy penalties to be imposed on plastic manufacturers," he said.
In its order, the NGT directed TNPCB to file a status report regarding the implementation of the law including action taken against persons who violate it and and a report on the implementation of the Extended Producers Liability provided under the rules.
Asked whether TNPCB has carried out any study on plastic use during the pandemic, a TNPCB official told Deccan Chronnicle that they have done such analysis so far....