In 2019, the year in which the government of Tamil Nadu banned single-use plastic in the state, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has seized around 312 tonnes of banned plastic items and collected Rs 1.05 crore as fine from across the city.
In a press statement, the GCC stated that officials conducted searches across the 15 zones in the corporation periodically to ensure that the plastic ban is followed. In total, GCC officials conducted searches in 3,88,315 establishments in the city between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 and seized around 312 tonnes of banned plastic items. The GCC also imposed and collected over Rs 1.05 crore as fine from the erring establishments.
Of the 15 zones, 27,146 establishments in Ambattur zone were searched by officials, who found around 27 tonnes of banned plastic items stored in them. The GCC officials collected Rs 6.35 lakh as penalty from the owners of those establishments. Similarly, in Anna Nagar zone, officials searched over 35,000 establishments from where they seized 28 tonnes of single-use plastic items. Rs 9.01 lakh was also collected as fine from those establishments.
The government of Tamil Nadu, in December 2018, announced a ban on single-use plastic items across the state from January 1, 2019. The state government also gave an indicative list of items that were banned including plastic sheets used to wrap food, plastic coated paper cups and plates, plastic bags and non-woven cloth bags, plastic thermocol plates and cups, plastic straws etc. Aavin, the state milk cooperative, also had announced a cashback scheme for every packet of milk that is returned to them. Though the plastic ban was initially strictly followed, over time, it has been observed that single-use plastic items have slowed and made their way back into shops and other establishments.