Bangalore’s plastic ban

While driving around the other day I saw a new bus stop ad. It’s sponsored by BBMP to educate the residents of Bangalore about the new waste laws that have gone into effect. Oddly, it is only in English and not Kannada. It’s also not the least bit helpful. It just says segregate your waste into 3 categories; it doesn’t tell you how or what to do with it after. It merely says “don’t throw it here and there”. But where should one put their waste?

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When this law was put into effect, we received a circular at home explaining to us what we needed to do to abide by the new laws. But here, too, BBMP tells us things like “avoid giving waste in plastic bags”, but they don’t offer any suggestions or solutions about what to do instead. Their FAQ sheet is also quite confusing for someone who might be newly segregating their waste.

Bangalore waste notice

Locally, the plastic ban seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. Supposedly it was implemented some months ago, but it doesn’t look like there is any less plastic around where I live. Some areas of the city seem to have managed to carry it out on their own:

Residents of Yelahanka, HSR Layout,Sanjay Nagar and Basavanagar have taken up a task that the government and the city’s civic body have not dared to carry out-the banning of plastic bags.

But in the rest of the city I haven’t noticed a difference.

The government issued a gazette notification on Friday, banning the manufacture and use of all kinds of plastic items such as carry bags, banners, buntings, flags, flexes, plates, thermocol cups and spreading sheets. The ban has been imposed under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

It is the banning of manufacturing these items that has potential. Down to Earth drafted recommendations based on the nation-wide plastic ban:

The draft rules need to be strengthened further. Their main purpose should be to discourage the use of plastic in the country, but somehow, they have failed in the attempt to address this issue. EPR is still loose and needs to be worked upon for better implementation of these rules. A clear directive of how EPR should be followed needs to be included. The penal provisions are weak and need to be worked upon. There should be inclusion of a heavy penalty for non-compliance with the rules for effective implementation. India generates almost 1.5 MT of plastic waste every year. Less than a quarter of the waste is being collected and treated. Hence, until we work to strengthen the rules, the road ahead is dark.

If this law gets implemented, it should also mean that multi-layered foil packaging will no longer be produced, which should cut down on waste in enormous ways–if it gets implemented.

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