In a bid to make Chandigarh completely plastic-free, the Department of Environment, Chandigarh, has mooted a proposal to ban all plastic products that can only be used one time. These items include disposal plates, small spoons, water bottles, straws and other such products that cannot be reused after being used once. The proposal has been sent to the UT Administration for final approval and the decision in the matter is likely to be taken on or before International Environment Day, observed on June 5.
The Department of Environment, Chandigarh, under the supervision of Director of UT Department of Environment Debendra Dalai, also mentioned in the proposal that plastic water bottles less than 1 litre in size should be banned. A member of the department said, “Large plastic bottles are mostly reused by people for storing water in their homes. But small bottles of 250 ml, small plastic covered water cups, straws and disposable plastic bags cannot be reused after their usage one time. We are of the opinion that instead of destroying these items at a later stage, we should just ban their usage. The proposal was sent to the UT Administration for final approval in beginning of May itself. However, as the Model Code of Conduct was in the effect, no decision was taken on it.”
Dalai further said, “As per notification under Section 5 of Environment (Protection), 1986, implemented in Chandigarh in 2008, only the use of polythene, plastic bags are prohibited in Chandigarh. Apart from it, there is no ban on any other plastic products in the UT.”
Chandigarh Administration is already facing wrath from National Green Tribunal (NGT) for not submitting its respective action plan on systematic disposal of plastic waste to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) despite the passing of deadline of April 30, set by the NGT.
Chandigarh is among 25 states/UTs that failed to submit the action plan and may have to pay environmental compensation of Rs 1 crore.
Meanwhile, the UT Department of Environment is also set to release a pictorial book containing big-sized pictures of all items that are harmful to the environment. The pictorial book will be released on International Environment Day on June 5.