PBMC to keep ‘hawk eye’ on use of plastic after blanket ban

Biodegradable bags introduced < Max penalty up to Rs 10,000 “Civic body committed to protect and conserve islands precious ecosystem,” Suneel Anchipaka (INSERT INTO THE NEWS
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
14 Sep 2018

Ahead of enforcement of a blanket ban on use of plastic/non-woven cloth bags, the Port Blair Municipal Council has asked citizens to refrain from using plastic bags and encourage others to go for cloth bags or those made of biodegradable materials. Not restricting itself to mere awareness campaigns against the use of plastic, the Municipal Council had launched a drive-Refuse It! If you can’t Reuse It, which aims to minimize the use of plastic and non-woven cloth bags in everyday life. Traders have been given opportunity till 15th Sept 2018, to clear all stock of plastic and non-woven cloth bags and asked to encourage customers to bring their own bags or go for cloth bags
Speaking to EOI, the Secretary of Municipal Council, Mr Suneel Anchipaka appealed citizens to shun the use of plastic and polythene as it was creating a negative impact on the environment, wildlife and people's health. “Protecting environment and being sensitive towards nature should come naturally and every citizen should take “active measures” to protect and conserve the ecosystem. People need to remember that plastic cannot be destroyed and every single piece of plastic made other than the ones burnt still exists. We use just once and throw away 80 percent of the plastic we produce. Presently only five percent of the plastic we produce is recovered and it takes 500 to 1000 years for plastic to degrade,” said the Secretary.
On the other band, biodegradable bags contain no polyoleon plastic and is made from natural extracts and are biodegradable and compostable in nature. Oxygen barrier, natural antistatic properties, oil resistant, recyclable with paper, dissolvable in high temperature water and even safe if accidentally consumed by animals are some other benefits of biodegradable bags. It’s our collective responsibility to return to the next generation the same clean air, rivers and environment that our forefathers enjoyed. We have to involve everyone in saving the ecology, exhorted Mr Suneel Anchipaka.
“Since introduction of eco-friendly carry bags in June this year, the Council held a series of meetings with trader associations, fishers associations at different places. Besides sensitizing them on the harmful effects of plastic use, we told them to shun use of plastic and polythene as it was creating a negative impact on the environment. Traders were given time till Sept 15 to clear all stock of plastic/non-woven cloth bags. Now strict action will be taken which includes penalty provisions ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000/- found using plastic or non-woven cloth bags. This ban would initially be imposed in the city and gradually extended throughout these islands. I again urge people to be part of this ‘Save Andaman and Nicobar Islands from Plastic’ campaign,” appealed the Municipal Secretary.