Gujarat’s Thin Plastic Ban Impact | Rajkot News – Times of India

Gujarat’s thin plastic conundrum

Rajkot: Tonnes of plastic of less than 120 microns are being destroyed in Gujarat’s big cities every year since 2016 when municipal corporations enforced the stringent ban on this material which is not just an environmental hazard but also poses a grave health risk for humans. Beginning with banning plastic less than 80 microns, the prohibition extended to those up to 120 microns as more the thickness more microparticles wreck the environment and get glued inside the human body.
Despite the regular drives by the civic bodies, plastic bags less than 120 microns continue to find their way into the markets with their use rampant at grocery stores, vegetable carts, paan kiosks and other small establishments.

Take Rajkot, Saurashtra’s biggest commercial centre. Every month, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) seizes around 150-200 kg of banned plastic bags every month during the random raids conducted to check if Plastic Waste Management Rules.
RMC’s environment engineer, Nilesh Parmar, informed, “We regularly conduct raids and seize around 150 to 200 kg polythene bags every month. We also impose fines. We suspect that this plastic is manufactured in central Gujarat and it is sent to Rajkot without proper billing.” Sources indicate that the bags are so inexpensive that traders can afford to use them and get away with paying penalties that depend on the scale of sale or production. The aim behind banning these thin plastic bags as they don’t decompose easily. Over time, these plastic bags break down into microplastics, which enter the human food chain. An environmental activist in Bhavnagar, Dr. Tejas Doshi, who distributes cloth bags in the vegetable market, says, “It takes hundreds of years for this thin plastic to decompose. It is wrecking wildlife and polluting oceans too.”
(With inputs from Sachin Sharma in Vadodara and Yagnesh Mehta in Surat)

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