The Kochi Corporation has once again stepped back from implementing ban on plastic carry bags less than 50 microns. This is the second time the local body, which is the largest municipal corporation in Kerala, has stepped back from implementing the ban after mooting the proposal.
The proposal was to charge fine from customers carrying plastic carry bag less than 50 microns. A fine ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 5,000 would have to be paid by those found using the plastic carry bag, if the proposal was implemented.
As per reports, the Corporation had imposed a similar ban on plastic carry bags below 50 microns in 2016, but failed to implement it.
The recent proposal was mooted by the health standing committee of the local body in January 2019. This came following the National Green Tribunal's directive to the local body to pay hefty penalty for the inefficiency in waste management at Brahmapuram waste management plant. Both opposition and ruling councillors gave nod for this proposal, but now it has been pulled back after considering public opinion. Various civic representatives objected to the proposal saying that fine should be imposed on those producing such plastic carry bags and those selling it, reports The Hindu.
According to the report, Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain said that the project was unrealistic and it does not make any sense to impose fine on a customer who merely carries the plastic bag being sold by shops. She also suggested that penalty be imposed on the traders and not customers.
Meanwhile, the former health standing committee chairperson VK Minimol said that there is no legislation for the Corporation to take action against those producing plastic carry bags. Such provisions have to be included in the by-law of the local body to take action on producers. She also opined that the Corporation can however keep residents away from using such plastic bags.