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Tripura steps forward to save environment, bans plastic

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Plastic bags

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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Actors Ajay, Kajol Support Initiative to Turn Plastic ‘Fantastic’

"We can utilise the waste metrical for recycled product and our 'Plastic Banega Fantastic' is an initiative to show how."

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Ajay, Kajol support initiative to turn plastic 'fantastic'. Wikimedia Commons

Actors Ajay Devgan and Kajol on Saturday urged people to segregate plastic from daily garbage in a way that it can be utilised to make a recycled product.

The couple came together to support an initiative taken by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) at the Mahim Creek. As part of HUL’s “Start a Little Good”, a plastic collection drive named “Plastic Banega Fantastic” has begun.

Talking about how effective recycling plastic could be, Kajol said: “We will be giving fishing nets to fisherfolks, and those are made out of recycled plastic… We will give them a park bench that is made out of recycled plastic and many such things. Basically, the idea is to show them products that we can make out of recycled plastic and also usable for daily life.”

“When they see what you can do in a productive manner to segregate plastics out of daily days, people will hopefully take the step seriously,” added the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai actress.

Asked if the government’s Swachch Bharat initiative is bringing any visible change in the surroundings, Ajay said: “We have a large population and it takes time to change people’s habits. There are people who throw garbage everywhere and with constant talks, people will become aware of how such things are harming the planet.”

As parents, Ajay and Kajol both believe that bringing little changes can create a big difference in children’s lives and that is how they can bring about a change in the future generation.

Kajol Devgan
Kajol Devgan, flickr

Any special things they teach their two children?

Ajay said: “Small things like not wasting water, switching off the light and all electric gadgets when it’s not used. At times kids just waste tissue papers just for fun, and I keep saying not to do that. From their childhood, if we can inculcate these habits in them, it will become a part of their lifestyle.

“Like my son carries a steal tiffin box instead of plastic. We use steel bottles and straw instead of plastic… I know these are very small thing, but as Ajay says these things slowly but surely change the big picture. These things will make them much responsible citizens of the world,” said Kajol.

Also Read- Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The event saw a a beach cleaning session by Ajay and Kajol along with popular radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa.

On the initiative, HUL Chairman Sanjiv Mehta told IANS: “While the invention of plastic is great, the problem started with its waste, used material. Since we all are using plastic and it is an integral part of our life, as people, we have to use it responsibly.

“We can utilise the waste metrical for recycled product and our ‘Plastic Banega Fantastic’ is an initiative to show how.” (IANS)