thrikkakara: Thrikkakara to impose a strict ban on single-use plastic bags | Kochi News
Initially, notices will be sent to all traders warning them against selling plastic bags. Awareness programs will be conducted with residents to discourage the use of plastic carrier bags. Later, special squads will be formed to raid stores and seize bags.
“The state government banned single-use plastic bags in 2019. People were about to get used to cloth bags when the Covid pandemic hit. Fear of contracting Covid-19 has led to increased use of single-use plastic products,” a health official told Thrikkakara.
Elected members of the local body said they have already taken steps to obtain the municipal “green” label, collecting sandals, bags, glassware, broken cutlery and electronic waste from households.
“Now we are going to collect nappies and have hired a private agency for this. Our decision not to renew the license of hotels and street vendors and other businesses that do not return plastic waste to the municipality has paid off. They have started paying user fees and arrears to the local body and donating plastic waste to Haritha Karma Sena members. In the past two months, we have received over Rs 30 lakh as user fees and arrears from hotels and other local body shops. Out of over 1,000 stores in Thrikkakara, we used to only get user fees from about 45 stores before,” said Standing Health Committee Chairman Rashid Ullampilly.
The task of achieving this goal is a challenge for the authorities because the municipality has a large number of floating people, including those who work in IT companies. “The saddest thing is that it is the educated people who generate the most plastic waste. To discourage the use of plastic among them, we will do awareness campaigns through social networks,” said the head of health.
The supreme council of the local body’s residents’ association said authorities should also punish those caught carrying plastic bags.
“Some associations of residents of Thrikkakara used to make cloth bags and distribute them to residents. But these efforts have been hit by the pandemic,” said Chairman of the Supreme Council of Thrikkakara Municipal Residents Association, KM Abbas.