Let’s breathe easy: Curb plastic
Let’s breathe easy: Curb plastic

Hyderabad: Anything but plastic. This is what the state government has in mind. Just a day after Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao instructed all commissioners across the state to curb plastic, Municipal Administration Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar on Wednesday issued guidelines for limiting plastic usage in all urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state with immediate effect.

The directions are clear. In a letter addressed to all the heads of the departments, the principal secretary directed them to strictly implement the ban on using plastic in government offices.

In a strongly worded letter, the officials were instructed to make sure that the use of plastic items, including water bottles, plastic under 50 microns and other single use plastic items in their offices should be stopped and replaced with eco-friendly products.

The ubiquitous plastic bottles should be replaced by steel or ceramic glasses at all urban local bodies. The officials in ULBs have been asked to discontinue usage of plastic and ban stocking of single use plastic items like drinking water in plastic and tetra bottles, single use straws, plastic/ styrofoam tea cups/ containers etc, plastic below 50 micron or plastic coated items and any other forms of single use /banned plastic.

The municipal commissioners have been told that it was mandatory that all offices follow twin bin system and dispose plastic waste strictly in compliance of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000 and guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board towards plastic disposal. 

The heads of the departments would also take up efforts to create awareness among all stakeholders on spreading knowledge about harm caused by single use plastic to the environment and promote sustainable environmental practices. 

The idea is to spread the message meaningfully and effectively. The municipal commissioners have been asked to post the pictures of after implementation in WhatsApp groups. According to an estimate, India generates around 56 lakh metric tonnes of plastic waste annually. The usage in India is an estimated 12-15 kgs per person per annum.