'Govt has allowed all plastic bags except carry bags'

Entrepreneur questions government's double standards

 Mysore Plastic Association president Subramanian has questioned the double standards followed by the government in banning plastics.

In a press release issued here, on Friday, he has stated, plastic carry bags have contributed significantly in creating a sustainable, cost-effective, energy-efficient, hygienic and environment-friendly packaging system and for carrying, storing and packing various types of commodities, including food products.

“The authorities concerned should think twice before promoting paper bags as an alternative for plastic carry bags. Production of paper depends on availability of wood pulp, for which trees have to be felled, causing further environmental destruction,” he points out.

“The government has banned plastic carry bags citing it to be hazardous. No carry bag normally comes in direct contact with any food item. But, milk is supplied in the same banned plastic bags, which directly comes in contact with plastic. An average urban home uses 1.5 litres of milk a day. On an average 45 carry bags are used in a month. However, those who go on shopping in super markets, twice a week, generate 2-3 carry bags, taking the maximum total to 12,” said Subramanian.

“Besides, all food items are allowed to be packed in plastic bags. So, all plastic bags, except the 5% carry bags, are allowed. On top of it, if the carry bag is sealed, it is not banned. So, virtually, nothing is banned and the government agencies are wasting their time and energy,” he says.

“During an Agri Mela in Mysuru, which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, there were flex banners to the size of 200-ft wide and 100-ft tall. Why no action was taken by the officials? There are flex banners on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. How is it allowed? Most of the so-called cloth-type bags used in malls are non-woven polypropylene material, which is also banned. Why no action?” questions Subramanian.

He says, hospitals require bags for disposal of bio-medical waste. “Yellow colour bag is used for incineration or deep burial; red for autoclaving, micro waving, or chemical treatment; blue or white colour bags are used for chemical treatment and destruction and black bags are used for disposal in secured landfills. As many as 10 categories of bio-waste are generated in hospitals. Each type of waste should be packed in the defined colour of garbage bag. Does the government want hospitals to use paper bags to dispose bio-medical waste?” he asked.

“No one is thinking about 650 entrepreneurs, who have invested in plastic bags manufacturing. Now, since three months there is no business for no fault of theirs. Soon, the government will hear news of ‘suicide by plastic bags manufacturing industrialist’. When the government banned the product overnight, it should have taken over the loans of the entrepreneurs. It first officially permitted the industries to run and then closed them overnight without giving any relief. About 72,000 direct employees of the industry have been rendered jobless. How will 72,000 families survive? Besides, more than two lakh traders are also affected,” he states.

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