Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kollam: Even after one year of banning single-use plastic products, they are available aplenty in the market. Banned products are brought to the state on large scale.
Carry bags, table spreads, single-use plates and glasses and similar products are among the banned items. The local bodies and Pollution Control Board were active with checking only during the initial months of the ban. However, it was totally stopped after the lockdown.
Plastic products was widely used in the COVID First Line Treatment Centres. Carry bags were used in large quantities to handle medical waste safely. The government also granted permission for this. This helped reducing disease transmission through unscientific handling of waste.
The local bodies did not take any action as the COVID resistance activities were prioritised. With this, the merchants and street vendors started using carry bags they had stocked already. Those who used to take cloth bags to shops also resumed the old habit of using plastic.
As plastic ban was not effective, the government agencies initiated moves to reduce use of plastic during the local body polls. The Suchitwa Mission assume that these actions were effective upto 80 percent. In the next phase, the government offices will be switched to green mode.
The authorities are planning to intensify action against plastic use in the coming days. They are also thinking about collecting maximum amount of plastic waste through ore-monsoon cleaning drive, employment guarantee scheme and Green Action Council.