No effective alternate to single use plastic in the city is making the law ineffective.
By Ambalika Banerjee
August 29, 2019, Bengaluru.
K.R Market vendors are still using plastic, despite the ban in the city. Market vendors resort to plastic use as it’s cheap and easily available.
Shalini, a regular customer at K.R Market, said, “People don’t care about the ban, they will still use plastic. Until and unless we have other alternatives from the government side, people will continue to use plastic.”
The law passed by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on May 5, 2016 bans manufacturing, storing and use of all single-use plastics. However the plastic use for packaging of milk and milk products are exempted. The law says that commercial use of plastic can attract fine up to Rs. 50,000, where as domestic use of the same can incur a fine of Rs.1000.
Chandrakala, a fruit vendor at K.R Market, said, “A full bag of plastic is easily available at wholesale for Rs.70. I have to use plastic because I sell pineapple, otherwise people will not buy it from me.”
BBMP claim the law has a proper implementation in the city. K.Subramanya, Supervisor of controller office at BBMP, mentioned, “From the beginning, the Mayor has strictly implemented the ban, especially for markets, malls, and dweller areas in the city. We have curbed the use till 99 percent, the rest 1 percent is still being worked upon. We are working on to fine the people, who use plastic and will soon start taking up cases as well.”
A BBMP circular, says that Bengaluru generates around 4000 MT of MSW per day. Sandeep Anirudhan, Co-founder and Core team member of Back to Nature Movement-SPNF, mentioned, “By some estimate, human beings are ingesting about a credit card worth of plastic every week. God knows what impact that will have on us genetically. The ban had a very low impact, in terms of implementation. The loop holes are in terms of not defining what alternatives people will adopt.”
Bengaluru has the law needed to curb the use of plastic. However without an economic alternative to plastic, people are finding it difficult to curb the use of it.