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Tripura steps forward to save environment, bans plastic

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Agartala: Tripura has imposed a total ban on the use, manufacture, import, storage and sale of plastic bags in the state in view of its harmful effect on the environment, official said here on Tuesday.

The decision was taken under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Plastics Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) chairman Amitava Debroy said.

A public notification about it was issued in Agartala on Monday and a fine ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.1,000 has been fixed.

Another senior official of the TSPCB said: “For repeated violation of the ban, the authority would impose a fine of Rs.1 lakh or jail for a maximum term of five years or both.”

“In case of any violation of the government order by any institution or by any industry or by any shop, the TSPCB would issue closure order and also issue order for disconnection of electricity of that institution or industry or shop,” the official added.

TSPCB chairman Debroy, an academician, said: “The government has been observing that the plastic bags are littered around and pose a detrimental effect on the environment and flowing of water through drains and canals.”

“The plastic bags also block gutters and sewers, resulting in unhygienic environment and health-related problems besides water logging in the city, especially during monsoon,” the TSPCB chief added.

According to him, aquatic and terrestrial animals die after consuming such bags. He added these bags arrest the recharging ground water aquifers while harmful chemicals and plastic colours contaminate the soil and water and choke the organisms.

plastic

An aquifer is a body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater.

The state government originally imposed the ban on plastic bags from January last year, but challenging the state government’s decision, the All India Plastic Industries Association filed a writ petition in the Tripura High Court, which upheld the decision of the state government.

Tripura Science and Technology Minister Bijita Nath on Monday held a meeting with all officials concerned, including police officials, to enforce the government decision.

“The state government has engaged authorised officers who would conduct surveillance and raids on the use, manufacture, import, storage and sale of plastic bags in the state. District-level committees were formed in all eight districts under the chairmanship of the district magistrates to deal with the issue,” the TSPCB chairman said.

“We would give priority to massive awareness before resorting to punitive measures. School students and youths would be involved in the awareness programmes.”

(IANS)

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Single-Use Plastic Banned By The European Parliament

The EU plastics bill also includes deadlines for reducing or recycling other plastics such as bottles, fishing lines, food wrappers, and cigarette filters.

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Microplastics, plastic
Plastic bottles and other plastics, including a mop, lie washed up on the bank of the River Thames in London, Britian. VOA

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ban single-use plastic products such as straws, eating utensils and coffee sticks across the European Union.

The measure passed 571 to 53, with 34 abstentions.

If approved by the European Commission — the EU executive — and individual states, the ban would become law in 2021.

plastic waste
Plastic items washed up by the sea are seen at the Ao Phrao Beach, on the island of Ko Samet, Thailand, June 9, 2018. (VOA)

Supporters say plastics are a major source of pollution that chokes oceans, litters cities, and can take decades to disintegrate.

Some U.S. cities have moved to ban plastic straws in restaurants after a heartbreaking video of a wildlife rescuer pulling a straw out of a turtle’s bloody nose was posted on the internet earlier this year.

plastic, vietnam
A plastic bottle washed up by the sea . (VOA)

A consortium of European plastics manufacturers called the EU bill “disproportionate” and said banning single-use plastics discourages investment into new ways to recycle.

Also Read: New Carbon Capture Technology Now Able To Flight Climate Change: Experts

The EU plastics bill also includes deadlines for reducing or recycling other plastics such as bottles, fishing lines, food wrappers, and cigarette filters. (VOA)