Say NO to litter that kills; bid adieu to plastic

Say NO to litter that kills; bid adieu to plastic
Highlights

Plastic is everywhere. From a small-time street vendor to a plush designer store, it thrives, ruthlessly damaging the environment, creating more and more pollution, killing wildlife and destroying the ecosystem. And unfortunately, most of the people are not aware of the serious repercussions of the use of plastic bags. 

Mahbubnagar: Plastic is everywhere. From a small-time street vendor to a plush designer store, it thrives, ruthlessly damaging the environment, creating more and more pollution, killing wildlife and destroying the ecosystem. And unfortunately, most of the people are not aware of the serious repercussions of the use of plastic bags.

However, to curb the growing menace of plastic use, the State government has finally woken up and unleashed a campaign to stop the use of plastic. It may be recalled that the Minister for Municipal Administration K T Rama Rao directed to issue clear instructions to all the Commissioners across the State to curb the plastic menace.

Mahbubnagar is one district where the plastic menace is increasing in appalling proportion. In spite of repeated awareness camps and other various initiatives to promote eradication of plastics by the district administration and municipal authorities, indiscriminate use of plastics goes unabated across the district.

According to an estimate by the municipal authorities, out of the total 208 tonnes of garbage produced every day by 6.12 lakh individuals from 1.19 lakh households in Mahbubnagar district, plastic constitutes about 41.6 tonnes which accounts to 20 per cent of total garbage produced by the municipality. This itself tells the gravity of the situation. Compared to the last one decade, the use of plastic in Mahbubnagar has increased 200 per cent and if not addressed the issue right now, in the long run, it is going to impact the overall environment and as predicted by environmental scientists, it will not only be the cause for rise in temperature, but also become one of the major health risks for humans and animals.

Even though the government had directed the authorities to ensure that plastic with less than 50 microns be banned, this directive was implemented for only a short period and later things became as usual. “Just giving a directive to stop using plastic without initiating a strict implementing policy will not serve the purpose.

It is just a lip service and there will be no one to abide by the directive. If the government is serious about banning plastics, it must do it right from its own offices. We see officials themselves using plastic water bottles being served in meetings. Malls and hyper markets are flourishing not just in bigger cities like Hyderabad, it is even widely spreading to tier II cities, district headquarters and even major towns.

This culture promotes use of packed items in plastics and thus during the past one decade, the use of plastics has increased manifolds,” observed Moses, a social worker who runs an NGO in Mahbubnagar. Apart from Mahbubnagar town, the menace of plastic usage is also increasing widely in major municipalities of Wanaparthy, Gadwal, Narayanpet, Nagarkurnool, Kalwakurthy and Badepally areas in the erstwhile Mahabubnagar district. It is estimated that apart from Mahbubnagar, other municipalities contribute 36 metric tonnes of plastic usage every day.

“We will act as per rules and if found anyone is using plastic bags below 50 microns, we are conducting raids and imposing fines on them,” said Sunita, Commissioner of Badepally Municipality.

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