Strong & steady

When a ban on plastic was announced by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in the State Assembly last year, many were doubtful about its implementation and said it would remain only on paper.

But, without even extending the deadline, the government implemented it on 1 January 2019, as announced by the CM.

Even as the ban came into effect, many said it would not be enforced in letter and spirit. Again, the government proved them wrong and took steps to ensure that usage of single-use plastic products reduced to a great extent.

Now, going a step further, the Tamilnadu government Wednesday proposed imposing fine on use-and-throw plastic items, including Rs 1 lakh for a third-time offender. Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister S P Velumani moved a bill in this regard in the State Assembly.

According to the Tamilnadu Panchayats (Second Amendment) Act, 2019, penalties for storage, supply, transport, sale and distribution of use-and-throw plastics, the highest amount of fine for third-time offence will be Rs 1 lakh. It will be Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 for the first- and second-time offences.

The government also proposed to levy fines for large small vendors, commercial complexes and grocery shops, ranging from about Rs 500 to Rs 25,000 for a third-time offence. Palaniswami had last June announced the plastic ban, including that of non-biodegradable carry bags, from January 2019 to ‘gift a plastic-free’ State to future generations.

The ban would cover these plastic articles irrespective of their micron size, he had said, but exempted polythene sachets used for packing milk, curd, oil and medical equipment.

In the most environment-friendly move taken in recent years, the State government banned the use of 14 types of plastics, including carry bags, and is now going strong and steady in its implementation. Way to go.

NT Bureau