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Principal Secretary (MA&UD) Department today issued guidelines for limiting plastic usage in all urban local bodies in the state

Principal Secretary (MA&UD) Department today issued guidelines for limiting plastic usage in all urban local bodies in the state

Principal Secretary Municipal Administration Arvind Kumar today issued guidelines for limiting plastic usage in all urban local bodies in the state. In a letter addressed to all the heads of the departments under the Municipal Administration and to all the municipal commissioners in the state, he directed them to strictly implement the ban on using plastic in government offices.  It may be recalled that the Minister for Municipal Administration Mr K T Rama Rao has directed to issue clear instructions to all the commissioners across the state to curb the plastic menace.

 

Text of the letter is enclosed hereunder

The use of Plastic, in its various forms, is there everywhere in our daily life, little realizing that the use and convenience of these plastic items come at a very high cost to the environment and negatively affects human health. Every product has a shelf life, but sadly that is not the case with plastics. The fact is that our planet cannot digest plastic. Plastics take around 500 to 1000 years to completely degrade due to the presence of complex polymers. As a result, till now whatever bit of plastic has ever been manufactured or used by us can be found in some form or the other on the planet. And now it has reached a crisis point. Currently, India generates around 56 lakh MTs of plastic waste annually. Plastic menace is also one of the major causes that is making waste management a Herculean task for the country. The usage in India is an estimated 12-15 Kgs per person per annum. You would have observed the contents of the garbage whenever drain cleaning is taken up. Its mainly plastics in its various forms.

Several cities and countries globally have begun banning the use of plastic esp plastic bags while some have enforced restricted laws against the use of plastic bags because of the negative effects of the use of their usage. India has banned the use and sale of polythene bags which basically have thickness of less than 50 microns. This is also followed in Hyderabad.

However, while its easy to preach others on plastic ban, we in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have an additional responsibility of ensuring that we first adopt and implement what we wish others to do.

The most imminent example is the use of plastic bottles (bottled water) in our offices and meetings! In any given congregation, depending upon number of attendees, we end up using anywhere between 10-200 plastic water bottles and it’s a sheer waste. In addition, we as a normal practice are used to using plastic bottled water in our offices/work places. I must add that setting an example, the Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development has already stopped using plastic bottles in his office.

The issue was discussed in the review meeting held on June 12th in GHMC wherein the hon’ble Minister advised that we in ULBs should set an example and henceforth stop using plastic bottled water (and other such plastic items) in our work places immediately and instead go for environment friendly materials (including steel/ceramic glasses etc). It is therefore decided that henceforth, all ULB offices shall discontinue usage and ban stocking of single use plastic items like

  1. Drinking water in plastic and tetra bottles
  2. Single use straws
  3. Plastic/styrofoam tea cups/ containers etc
  4. plastic below 50 micron plastic or plastic coated items
  5. And any other forms of single use /banned plastic.

No office shall be found to be in use or possession of below 50 micron plastic bags as mandated in Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules,  2016.Furthermore, it is mandated that all offices follow Twin Bin system and dispose off plastic waste strictly in compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules,2000 and guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board towards plastic disposal.

Respective HODs will also take up efforts to create awareness among all stakeholders on spreading knowledge about harm caused by single use plastic to the Environment and promote sustainable environmental practices. The idea is to spread the message meaningfully and effectively.

The orders come into force with immediate effect. MCs may like to post pictures on the whatsapp group as soon as its implemented.

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