Those who are accustomed to using polythene bags in Valpoi may soon face action from Valpoi Municipal Council (VMC) as the civic body has joined other civic bodies in the state in cracking the whip on sale and use of plastic carry bags within its jurisdiction. It has also banned the sale of POP idols in the market.
Municipal officials led by VMC chairperson Parvin Shaikh and councillor Akhtar Shah met shopkeepers, vegetable vendors and traders, and directed them not to pack goods and articles in plastic bags. “On the market day I along with our staff met vendors and convinced them not to use plastic and polythene bags to pack consumable and other items. We also provided them with cloth bags and urged them to use it in their business” said VMC chairperson Parvin Shaikh who has taken a personal interest in eradicating the town from plastic.
“Posters regarding the ban have been displayed around the town. Shopkeepers have already been told to use paper or cloth bags. We will ensure there is a complete ban on plastic under the municipal jurisdiction,” Shaikh further said.
The council has also banned the sale of POP idols in the market due to its adverse impact on the environment. Meanwhile, a VMC official said that a resolution has been passed to impose a total ban on the procurement, storage, and sale of all kinds of plastic and non-woven polypropylene carry bags. “It is a common practice of traders, street vendors, hoteliers, vegetable and fish markets to use plastic bags indiscriminately. If they are found violating the ban, the council will impose heavy fines of up to Rs 5,000” informed the official.
According to information available 40 per cent of the municipal solid waste is plastic. Town-based environmentalists opined that the actual number could be much higher than the estimated figures of VMC as plastic waste is thrown into water bodies, vacant sites and alongside roads is not taken into consideration. Rapid
urbanisation, increase in the sale of packaged products, change in lifestyle and manufacturing segments adapting to a higher percentage of plastic, are said to be the reasons for the increase in plastic waste.
A science teacher said, “There is plastic everywhere and VMC’s decision to ban plastic in the town limit is a welcome move”. She also recalled incidents where animals have died after consuming plastic dumped along with food on the roadside. She claimed that irrespective of the size, plastic cause’s heavy damage to environment and cannot be recycled, therefore it should be totally banned.