Chennai Corpn seizes 21.67 tonnes of plastics in four days

Chennai: The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has seized 21.67 tonnes of single-use plastics between 31 December and 3 January. It also includes voluntarily handing over plastics by people.

With this, the GCC and Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) are planning to further tighten vigil and enforce the ban more stringently.

On 31 December – 1.88 metric tonnes of plastics were seized, 1 January -2.25 metric tonnes, 2 January – 8.35 metric tonnes and 3 January – 9.19 metric tonnes.

Tamilnadu’s ban on certain plastic items came into effect 1 January. The implementation was visible in many of the shops where people were switching over to alternatives starting from cloth bags, newspaper and banana leaves.

TNPCB has listed 14 banned plastic products, including plates, cups, bags, plastic packaging material, plastic-coated items, non-woven bags, straws and plastic sheets.

Items excluded are plastic cases containing milk, curd, biodegradable plastics and packaging plastics like water bottle from big firms by the government and others. The government has also identified a list of 12 eco-friendly alternatives, including cloth bags, glass containers, paper plates and cups and banana leaves. Retail outlets have already started putting up notices asking people to bring cloth bags.

GCC has set up 200 ward committees with eight officials from the local offices in each committee, and another 15 zonal committees to implement the decision. It has also initiated a drive from 31 December to collect the banned plastic items from households and shops through various collection points.

Corporation has also been conducting door-to- door awareness programmes to better implement the government initiative and plans are to cover more households in the coming days. An enforcement wing will also conduct an inspection in the shops to ensure the banned plastic is fully disposed of.

S Ben Raja