GVMC bans plastic bags below 50 microns

Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapanam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is all set to ban plastic bags below 50 microns, starting from Saturday.

Now, all the plastic bag wholesalers, shopkeepers and vendors using plastic carry bags in the city have to register with the Corporation by paying Rs 4,000 a month as plastic waste maintenance charges.

The ban is being modelled on the lines of the Union government’s revamped Plastic Management Act of 2016 (PMC-2016).

Recently, the GVMC officials chaired a meeting with the plastic bag manufacturers, distributors and vendors and directed them to adhere to the guidelines of the PMC-2016 without fail from April 1.

Lack of strict enforcement of the ban on plastic covers had been chocking the drains and water bodies of the city.

It was estimated that even a small tiffin centre uses at least 500 covers a day for packing chutneys and others, which are conveniently thrown away into drains and roads.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), GVMC, Dr A. Hemanth, informed that the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from 40 microns to 50 microns.

“The manufacturers of the city should register with the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board. The distributors, shopkeepers and street vendors willing to provide plastic carry bags for dispensing any commodity shall register with the GVMC. The thickness of that particular bag as well as the manufacturer name should be printed on each carry bag. We will strictly enforce the Act and will launch raids within the next few days,” said Dr. Hemanth.

The provision of collecting registration fees from the producers and vendors of plastic bags as part of the PMC-2016 is aimed at strengthening the financial position of the urban local bodies with regard to plastic waste management system.

In order to contain the problem, the GVMC has decided to lay 11 new roads of the city with plastic waste and wants to replicate the same in the other parts of the city based on the results.

GVMC additional commissioner (General), G.V.V.S. Murthy, said that it’s now compulsory for all the vendors as well as the sellers to register with the corporation from April 1. “We will levy huge penalties on those who fail to abide by the PMC-2016,’’ said Mr Murthy.

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