Plastic ban: third innings!3 min read
Udupi: In the wake of its waste management problems the City Municipal Corporation (CMC) of Udupi has decided to impose a complete ban on the use of all plastic carry bags within the city limits from September 15.
This is for the third time CMC has imposed a ban on plastic in the last three years. This ban forbids the use of plastic carry bags, cups, plates, sheets and any other plastic made item within the city limits. “The decision to ban all plastic bags came after the difficulties the administration faced when it came to waste management by only banning thin plastics in 2010 and 2011,” said Raghupati Bhat, MLA, Udupi.
Waste management has always been a thorny job for the award winning Municipality. In the last three years, it failed to completely implement the previous plastic bans as also reported by TMJ (see Plastic ban in Udupi district still not a reality). Ashok Kundapur, an environmentalist while speaking to TMJ said, “Every ban that they have come up with till now only refers to thin plastics. This is the first time there is a complete plastic ban.”
The land allotted to CMC for waste management is also under the scanner. The solid waste management site in Alevoor has been a nuisance to the villagers around the 22-acre dump yard for a long time (see Alevoor dump yard: Garbage in, Garbage out). “For such a small town, Udupi produces 60 tons of waste every day. The people throw all their garbage away in plastic bags and it is because of these plastic bags that the garbage can’t degrade into the soil. In fact all this waste is just accumulating and taking up space; space which we are already short off,” said Ragvendra, an environmental engineer.
“Yes, we did not give our hundred percent the last time, but it is hard, going to every shop and measuring the plastic they use. But this year with the complete plastic ban, we will be more vigorous with the implementation. This year there will be a fine the defaulters will have to pay,” said Gokuldas Nayak, Commissioner, CMC.
Some are still of the view that the blanket ban is an impractical step by the administration. Ramesh Kini , owner of ‘Pancham Plastics’, one of the leading plastic manufacturing companies in Udupi said, “If the main reason why they’re banning plastic is because they can’t manage all the waste this city produces, then they should be concentrating on making the public more aware of proper waste management techniques rather than banning plastic because that is the easy way out. They will have to put in effort, which I guess they don’t want to. All this is coming after Udupi won the ‘Green Leaf Award’ for effective disposal of waste in June this year.” Mentioning the previous bans, Kini also said that when they were imposed, no officials came to the shops to check if they were selling thin plastic, even though the district had promised regular checks.
Sub-edited by Priyanka Sharma