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'Indiscipline among users forced DK district administration to ban plastic'

Mangalore, Nov 20, 2012, DHNS: 22:31 IST
Indiscipline among users has forced the district administration to ban plastic, said Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Dr Harish Kumar.

He was the resource person for the awareness programme, 'Plastic-free City and students’ contribution,’ organised by Information Department in association with St Aloysius College in Mangalore on Tuesday.

Plastic has become an integral part of our lives. It has many positive qualities such as it is light weight, transparent, water-proof, has good bearing capacity, does not allow microbial growth and is cheap. This makes it popular among users and one may not find a substitute to it, opined the Commissioner.

However, the problem arises while disposing it. When one burns plastic, it emits poisonous gases which is hazardous to nature. If one buries it, it does not degrade and has a lifespan of 1000 years. There are chances of chemicals used in making plastic getting mixed up in food chain causing irreversible health problems.

Animals die by choking on plastic. It's careless disposal makes the city look dirty. "When we weighed the pros and cons of plastic, we found negative attributes more. Hence, there was a need to ban plastic," he added.

An Indian uses 17 gm of plastic everyday on an average and 1 kg every year. However, it is difficult to manage waste in our country as people do not bifurcate it. "Plastic is mixed in all categories of waste. Segregation is very difficult. Out of the total waste generated in the City, ten per cent accounts for plastic. People are showing a negligent attitude. In spite of plastic below 40 micron was banned, people are still using it. Hence, these reasons made the district administration ban plastic," he said.

Stating that the present landfill site at Pachanady is designed to collect waste till 2030, he said that the pace in which plastic is being used may result in filling the site within next 10 years. Waste from different parts of the district like Sullia and Bantwal too is dumped at Pachanady, he rued.

He also said that the Mangalore City Corporation would start door-to-door collection of waste from December 1 in Mangalore City.

The awareness programme was inaugurated by students Soujanya Balnad, Sanath Kumeri and Sharath Balnad from Puttur Balbhavan by painting a picture.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda urged people to join hands with district administration in eradicating the plastic menace. "Plastic is poisonous to our planet. We should fulfill our duty as responsible citizens in protecting our nature for a greener tomorrow," he said.

"We tend to use and abuse things for our immediate gratification. Plastic was one such item, which has become a menace due to its overuse and careless disposal. Our ancestors passed a green and clean planet to us and we need to do the same for the future generation" said St Aloysius College Principal Rev Swebert D'Silva SJ.

Information Department Senior Assistant Director Rohini K, Registrar Prof A M Narahari, Vice Principals Prof John D’Silva and Judy Pinto among others were present.

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