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Single-use plastic banned from Friday, MC to challan violators, PPCB to seal units

Single-use plastic banned from Friday, MC to challan violators, PPCB to seal units

With the state government notifying a ban on single-use plastic from July 1 (Friday), the municipal corporation (MC) and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) are all set to tighten the noose around violators.

With the state government notifying a ban on single-use plastic from July 1 (Friday), the municipal corporation (MC) and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) are all set to tighten the noose around violators.

While the MC will commence a drive for challaning the violators who will be caught trading or using the banned items from Friday onwards, PPCB officials stated that the department will seal industrial units, if the owner is caught manufacturing single-use plastic items.

As per the notification, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, straws, plates, cups, spoons, fork, wrapping or packaging film, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners among other plastic items, etc, are banned.

MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal conducted a meeting with the MC officials on Thursday in this regard and issued directions. Aggarwal stated that an awareness session is also being organised for MC staffers on Friday so that there is no doubt about the items banned by the government. Further, she stated that directions have been issued to conduct regular inspections in the markets and challans the violators from Friday onwards.

Meanwhile, PPCB chief engineer, Ludhiana, Gulshan Rai stated that the department will enforce the ban strictly and it will seal the respective units if the owners are caught manufacturing the banned single-use plastic items.

He stated that the department has been spreading awareness regarding the banned plastic single-use items for a long time and now inspections will be conducted to check any violation from Friday onwards.

Plastic carry bags still being used with impunity

Though departments are making claims to enforce a ban on single-use plastic items in the city, the authorities have even failed to enforce a complete ban on the manufacturing and use of plastic carry bag for the last over six years. The state had banned the plastic carry bags in April 2016, but the banned bags are still being used in every nook and corner of the city.

Industry up in arms against decision, warns of stir

Meanwhile, the plastic industry has been raising a hue and cry over the notification to ban single-use plastic stating that the government is imposing the ban without providing any alternative to the public. The representatives of the plastic industry also warned the authorities of an agitation, if the decision is not rolled back by July 5.

Ruing losses to the industry, president, Punjab Plastic Manufacturers and Traders Association, Gurdeep Singh Batra stated that the government has imposed the ban in a “haste” and no alternative has even been provided to the public. Apart from the industry, the public will also face harassment

“If the state government is adopting the single-use plastic ban notification of the Union government, then it should also allow use and manufacturing of plastic carry bags with width above 75 micron, as allowed by the Union government,” said Batra while adding that they will keep their units shut in protest from Friday onwards and will raise an agitation from July 5, if the decision is not rolled back by the government.

A shopkeeper in Model Town Extension, Deepak stated that the government has imposed the ban without deliberating upon the issue that there is no immediate alternative available in the market. “How will we sell the products, especially the dairy products, like milk, etc, without plastic carry bags,” he asked.

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