Upping the ante in the fight against single-use plastic, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is set to implement a ban on the use of cling film and plastic cutlery by app-based food delivery companies and online grocery store in Bengaluru.
The civic body will implement the plastic ban as per the Solid Waste Mangement (SWM) bye-laws from September 1 across the BBMP limits. The BBMP SWM bye-laws state that “strict action will be taken to close and seal the premises/ suspend or even cancel the trade licence of those violating shops and establishments who continue to use banned plastic even after repeated warnings”.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, BBMP special commissioner Randeep D said, “From September 1, the plastic ban enforcement would be as per the SWM bye-laws. Non-compliant shops/ retail establishments and etc face imminent closure/cancellation of trade license, in case they don’t comply. This applies to online grocery and food delivery apps.”
The online delivery apps, he said, should shift from plastic packaging to reusables or encourage the public to use their own cutlery.
“If the food delivery apps fail to follow the rules, the BBMP will take action along with reporting to regulatory authorities like the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB),” he added
According to BBMP, the plastic bags, boxes, spoons, cling wraps and cutlery that come with home delivery of food and grocery are a big source of plastic waste in the city. Last year, the BBMP had banned all single-use plastic in its offices, civic initiatives and all the BBMP offices across eight zones and 134 sub-divisional BBMP offices in a step towards reining in the plastic menace
In July 2018, the BBMP Council had passed a resolution to cancel the trade licences of shops and commercial establishments continuing to use plastic bags. In September 2018, the city civic body had issued special guidelines to wedding and banquet halls, banning plastic and had recommended the use of steelware. In the BBMP monthly council meetings, plastic water bottles were stopped and started using steel containers.
From September, the city civic body will start cracking down on non-woven polypropylene bags, which are made from a thermoplastic polymer which are used by most of the shops and grocery stores in the city. According to BBMP official, non-woven polypropylene (NWPPs) bags are non-biodegradable.
According to the civic authority, plastics are estimated to contribute to 20 per cent of the 4,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated every month in Bengaluru.
BBMP warns Big Basket on Twitter:
The BBMP on Sunday warned online grocery store ‘Big Basket’ against using cling film for packing tender coconuts. The issue was highlighted by Beautiful Bengaluru, a citizen’s forum, on Twitter after a tender coconut bought from Big Basket was packed and delivered in cling film.
Beautiful Bengaluru tweeted a photo of the coconut packed in cling film and wrote, “@bigbasket_com seems to believe that a hard shell and fibre covering aren’t enough protection for coconuts! :) Please be aware that cling film is banned and generates non-recyclable waste. Customers need stores and chains that respect the plastic ban! @Randeep_Dev
Commencing Sept 1st, 2019 @bigbasket_com would be penalised substantially if they continue using cling film. Please note that the new SWM Bye laws allow #BBMP to close down store and suspend / cancel trade license if such single use plastics incl cling film are being used. https://t.co/rebEb6PFhS
— Randeep D (@Randeep_Dev) August 25, 2019
Responding to the tweet, Randeep D said that BigBasket would be penalised if it continued to use cling films. “Commencing Sept 1st, 2019 @bigbasket_com would be penalised substantially if they continue using cling film. Please note that the new SWM Byelaws allow #BBMP to close down store and suspend/cancel trade license if such single use plastics incl cling film are being used,” he said in a tweet
Meanwhile, Big Basket replied, “We’ll definitely forward your feedback to the respective team and ensure we take necessary measures to avoid these incidents in near future.”