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SDMC goes for green flexes, not PVC, on unipoles

Flexes refer to vinyl sheets printed in colour so they are flexible, which makes them ideal for banners. These banners are usually made of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic material that does not degenerate.

delhi Updated: Jun 11, 2019 11:38 IST
Baishali Adak
Baishali Adak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Landfills,land pollution,sewage disposal
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has started using green or biodegradable flexes on its unipole advertisements because of the environmental harm caused by plastic flexes.(ImagesBazaar)

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has started using green or biodegradable flexes on its unipole advertisements because of the environmental harm caused by plastic flexes, said officials.

Flexes refer to vinyl sheets printed in colour so they are flexible, which makes them ideal for banners. These banners are usually made of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic material that does not degenerate.

“As a result, they can only be dumped in landfills or burnt after they are scrapped. In garbage dumps, such flexes do not degrade for thousands of years and when burnt, release toxic fumes that have serious implications on public health,” said Ravi Agarwal, environmentalist and director of Toxics Link, an environmental NGO.

Around 18,000 metric tonnes of PVC flex banners are used every month in the country, an independent credit rating agency, ICRA Limited, stated in a recent report.

Prem Shankar Jha, Deputy Commissioner, Remunerative Projects Cell of SDMC, said that the civic body is conscious of the damage caused to nature and are taking steps to minimize it. “Recently, in the tender we floated inviting ‘advertisement firms’ to fill up ad spaces at the Waste-to-Wonder Park, Sarai Kale Khan, we mentioned that the flexes must be “biodegradable in nature keeping with the theme of the park,” he said.

The park features replicas of the ‘seven wonders of the world’ such as Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza and Eiffel Tower -- all made of scrap metal.

“Some of our unipoles and MUPIS at Safdarjung Enclave B6 Market already have flexes which are biodegradable and not the PVC ones,” he said. On March 4 this year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) also directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF&CC) to ban or regulate the use of PVC or chlorinated plastic in the use of banners.

First Published: Jun 11, 2019 05:19 IST