The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has written to the Central Pollution Control Board after experts pointed out that the bags do not actually compost.

Ban compostable plastic bags in Karnataka says State Pollution Control Board Representational image
news Civic Issues Monday, May 06, 2019 - 09:48

A move by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to ban ‘compostable’ plastic bags has earned the praise of waste management activists. The KSPCB has written to the Central Pollution Control Board not to certify any such plastic bags for Karnataka, after activists and experts earlier pointed out that they do not actually compost.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior KSPCB official said,  “We are not sure about the contents of the material when it comes to biodegradable plastic. Further, in the guise of compostable or biodegradable plastic, we may end up with all kinds of fake products. We do not have a fool-proof method to distinguish them. Based on the state’s plastic ban, we wrote to the centre to exempt us.”

With the Karnataka government ordering a blanket ban on single-use plastics, some individuals and establishments were continuing to use them as they have a CPCB certification.

Speaking on this, D Randeep, Special Commissioner Solid Waste Management, BBMP said it was not certain how “compostable” the bags were. “The idea is to ban all single-use disposables and reduce the waste footprint,” he told the Hindu.

“The point is to ban use of single-use plastic, as these will just add to the solid waste collection in the city and state. These are not reusable like cloth bags, steel bottles or cutlery. It is also not possible to verify if each bag is indeed compostable,” he told TNIE.

Activists also pointed out how these CBCB certified plastic bags actually did not compost.

“There have been instances when traders thwarted attempts made by BBMP officials to seize the material. We had also cited instances when the so-called compostable bags did not break down in our home compost bins,” NS Ramakanth, former member of the BBMP’s SWM Expert Committee told The Hindu.


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