Bangalore: With rampant use of plastic adding to the garbage problem in several cities, the state Environment Department is contemplating several measures, including a complete ban on the manufacture and use of all kinds of plastic carry-bags, irrespective of their thickness. At present, there is a ban in the state on the manufacture and use of plastic carrybags of less than 40 micron thickness. However, it has not been enforced seriously.
Minister for Environment Sogadu Shivanna on Monday told reporters that he had already started consultations with all the stake holders on the pros and cons of banning plastic carry-bags. “I will discuss the issue with the Chief Minister and take a final decision,” he said while stressing the need to ban plastic usage. However, milk sachets, water bottle and the like will not be banned.
Environment Secretary Kanwar Paul said that there is a provision under the Environment (Protection) Act for the state government to regulate plastic usage if it is found to affect the environment. He further said that the Plastic Management and Handling Rules would allow the state government to ban the manufacture and use of plastics of 40 micron and above thickness.
The state is considering complete ban on the manufacture and use of plastic bags, irrespective of their thickness.
If the ban comes into force, the violators can be punished with imprisonment and a fine or both. This apart, the Environment Department has also issued directions to all urban local bodies, including city corporations to set up segregation plants near their land fills. The minister came down heavily on the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for not asserting its authority and letting things go out of control.