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A tough stand against plastic violators

Plastic violations will have to face heavy fines in South India

Thiruvananthapuram’s civic body has imposed a Rs 29.5 lakh fine for violating the city’s ban on single-use plastic items, which has been in effect since April. The health wing collected a spot fine of Rs 14 lakh and a vehicle fine of Rs 4.8 lakh. The total fines for violating plastic rules were Rs 10 lakh. To seize prohibited plastic items, the corporation has deployed health squads despite stiff opposition from merchants.

In June, the city corporation council decided to ban single-use plastic items starting on July 1. Among the prohibited items are candy sticks, earbuds with plastic sticks, ice cream sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, among others.

The committee also decided to spend Rs 15 lakh on awareness campaigns, videos, jingles, and exhibitions instead of single-use plastics.

All local governments have been instructed by the chairman of the State Pollution Control Board to take immediate action to implement the ban beginning July 1.

Under the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, plastic carry bags with a thickness of less than 75 microns are prohibited beginning September 30, 2021, and less than 120 microns beginning December 31, 2022.

It gave merchants ample time to dispose of existing stock since the civic body focused primarily on awareness campaigns until July.

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