Plastic-free villages, a distant dream

JOAO SOUSA M | NT
MARGAO: With the government remaining non-committal in enforcing the ban on the use of plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness, ‘plastic-free villages’ looks to be a distant dream.
And, due to the lack of support from the government, frustration is growing among the Salcete panchayats over the issue.
Even though the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has vowed to make Goa plastic-free by December 2019, plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness continue to be easily available.
The sarpanchas now want the government to take concrete steps to ensure that plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness are not manufactured.
They said that till the plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness continue to be available easily “it will be difficult to enforce the ban despite the panchayats imposing fines.”
Sarpanch of Chandor-Cavorim panchayat Edward D’Silva said that “the panchayat is trying to make the village plastic-free but the challenge is enormous.”
He said that “the panchayat had served notices to all the traders at the fair warning about the use of plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness and even issued fines,” but it is difficult to keep the menace of plastic carry bags at bay.
He said that presently, the biggest problem faced is that the Goa Waste Management Corporation is not lifting the plastic collected during the weekly collection due to lack of space to store the waste.
Deputy sarpanch Chinchinim Valentino Baretto said, “The plastic carry bags are freely available, and so the people do not wish to co-operate. The plastic carry bags are in circulation, and in particular being used by fish vendors. The government should first address the issue at the source and ban all the units manufacturing plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness.”
He said that “the panchayat recently carried out an anti-plastic drive, and has also found large quantities of alcohol bottles dumped by the roadsides, this is done mostly by tourists. This issue too needs to be addressed by the authorities.”
Assolna sarpanch Xavier Almeida said that the panchayat has already passed a resolution to ban the use of plastic carry bags of below 40 micron thickness and is trying to keep the village plastic-free, but “we need government’s support and the units manufacturing plastic carry bags of below the prescribed thickness need to be banned first.”
Meanwhile, authorities said that it is for the government to take a call as there is a need for better co-ordination between the government departments and village panchayats for making Goa plastic-free.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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