What ban, plastic flows freely into Bengaluru from Tamil Nadu

Pollution problem concept, say no to plastic bag, Elements of this Image Furnished by NASA https://www.nasa.gov/content/satellite-view-of-the-americas-on-earth-day

Ever wondered why your grocer or vegetable vendor offers you plastic bags although the material has been banned for over two years now? The answer lies just 35 km south of Bengaluru. 

The ban on the manufacture, supply, sale and use of all forms of plastic may have become the bane of manufacturers in Karnataka but it’s a boon to small-scale industries in Tamil Nadu — in places like Hosur, Salem and Erode — where the substance flows freely. Plastic products are transported to Bengaluru day in and day out with no hassles to speak of. 

When DH contacted a Hosur-based plastic bag manufacturer if he could supply the product to Bengaluru, he readily agreed. “I have heard about some plastic ban, but we are supplying the product on a daily basis,” he said. “There is no problem.” 

Vijay Kumar V, president, Karnataka State Plastic Association and a member of the National Environment Committee, said the government banned plastic in the state but failed to crack down on illegal supplies from Tamil Nadu. “Plastic bags are brought to the city in trucks that carry vegetables, fruits and flowers,” he explained. “There is nobody to check this. Vendors buy and pass them on to consumers. Has anyone wondered why plastic bags are available despite the ban? The authorities have just turned a blind eye to the use of plastic.” 

Hosur, just 35 km south of Bengaluru, has 100 small units that manufacture plastic bags and they are doing a brisk business because of the ban in Karnataka. Even factories in Erode and Salem supply plastic products to the city every day. Plastic products also arrive from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra where there is no ban, Kumar said. 

He said the plastic ban had displaced 75,000 workers (or three lakh families) and shut down nearly 750 organised and unorganised manufacturers. The BBMP, which collects a garbage cess from the public, has failed to notice plastic bags in the trash, he added. 

An official in the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board said the key to enforcing the plastic ban is to train the police on the ways in which the substance is transported from other states. The notification on the plastic ban has been amended to task the police and food safety commissioner with enforcing the ban. Police will be shortly trained, he added. 

 

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What ban, plastic flows freely into Bengaluru from Tamil Nadu

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