Use of plastic bags is one of the biggest problems that the city residents are dealing with. Despite formation of several policies to ban the use of plastic bags, the use of same is still going on in the city. Plastic bags not only have a colossal footprint on environment, but on human health too.
On the eve of World Environment Day, the city-based environmentalists said that the government should take steps to ban use of plastic bags and its ill-effects on human health and environment.
"Burning plastic bags is no solution. There should be a proper way to dispose-off waste," said Amarjeet Singh, an environmentalist.
He added, "We are the ones who are responsible for ourselves. Once we start getting concerned about our surroundings things will automatically start getting better." Recycled plastic bags are considered safe, but they apparently are not. Dr Surinder Gupta, secretary of National Integrated Medical Association, Ludhiana, says, "Even the recycled plastic bags can cause harmful diseases like cancer. It is because India still does not have a standardised recycling system.
The scientific processes used in recycling plastic bags have hazardous impact on human health."
Plastic bags used to store food items are another stumbling block. Dr Gupta says, "Use of plastic bags to store food can cause certain allergies and respiratory disorders." He added, "Public awareness plays a crucial role in such a scenario."
"If the public is aware about the consequences and take necessary steps then half of the work is done," he added.
Cloth bags are rapidly becoming popular and are even preferred by the environmental supporters and are considered to be safe and important as far as the environmental issues are concerned.
An official of Punjab Pollution Control Board said that policies were being prepared to control the use of plastic bags, but it was important to start service from home itself. It is pertinent to mention here that the state government had implemented
The Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act, prohibiting the manufacture, disposal and usage of polythene bags from virgin plastic of thickness not less than 40 micron and size not less than 8 by 12 inches and of a colour other than specified color.
On being asked about the use of polybags in city, chief environmental engineer of PPCB, Ludhiana, Gulshan Rai, said he would look into the matter and take the required steps.