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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Mission Polythene-free: MC to tighten noose on defaulters

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 23, 2013
First Published: 21:46 IST(23/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:48 IST(23/10/2013)

To protect the environment and control pollution, the municipal corporation has decided to adopt strict measures to make the city polythene-free over the next few months.

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While the civic bodies have failed to execute the ban on polythene implemented by the state government in August, 2011, the MC authorities have now decided to tighten the noose on people using polythene bags in their jurisdiction.

The civic body authorities on Wednesday held a meeting with a New Delhi-based firm to set up an independent plastic waste management project, especially for non-recyclable polythene, in the city.

Sources said that the firm, which has set up a similar plant at Faridabad, needs only one acre to install machinery.

MC commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said special teams would be formed to keep a watch on the use of polythene bags, especially those of inferior quality, to ensure implementation of the ban on plastic bags.

“The most important thing is to ensure the ban on polythene of inferior quality. For this, we will buy micron meters to ensure that only those bags which are made out of plastic sheets of specified width are available in the market,” he claimed.

“We will also impose a fine on the defaulters, extendable up to `25,000,” he added.

According to the norms of the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act, 2005, and Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Amendment Rules, 2011, only polythene bags less than 30 microns, carved with the manufacturer's name, registration number provided by the Punjab Pollution Control Board, recycle logo and size can be used in the market.

However, plastic carry bags are openly used on a large scale, and are a major cause of choking of drains.

The MC commissioner added that ragpickers usually singled out only those plastic bags which were recycled later, but did not pick up non-recyclable packing like that of chips, gutka, gift packs and other similar articles.

“In the meeting, it was proposed that the firm would ensure that such bags are collected and recycled. They will manage the waste on their own,” he said, adding that the specifics of the project had not been finalised yet as the company was yet to submit details regarding the cost and management process.

Effective management needed

Besides constant deterioration of the environment, plastic, especially bags and other packaging, causes choking of drains.

The animal husbandry department has often reported cases of stray cattle dying after ingesting polythene bags or pieces from dumping grounds and garbage piles.

Besides, the fertility of soil is affected by indiscriminate disposal of polythene in an unscientific manner.

Proposed measures

* Setting up of plastic waste management plant
* Special vigil teams
* Purchase of micron meters
* Fine up to `25,000

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