Plastic use rampant in smart city Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: After five months since Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) came out with a directive on plastic waste management following Centre’s amendment to its 2016 norms, OTV’s ground-zero study reveals a surprising trend.

Rampant use of plastics has become a nuisance in disguise in the city. Heaps of garbage which proliferate in dumping yards contains more plastic than any other constituent.

Official sources said that on a daily basis about 400 metric tonne of solid waste is generated in the city out of which nearly 7 to 10 tonne of waste comprises polythene, plastic articles and similar constituents.

A good level of infrastructure development for plastic waste management is necessary, said senior scientist of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), Dillip Kumar Behera.

“Waste plastic can be employed for a variety of other useful purposes like road works, depolymerisation into fuel, but firstly the authorities at base level i.e. municipalities need to take care for its segregation,” Behera said.

According to sources, while the BMC notified the new plastic management norms in January in which it ordered ban on plastics below 50 microns and asked businesses widely using plastics to pay tax of Rs 4000 every month, the ground-zero situation showed exactly the opposite. Norms are being flouted openly and the awareness on the issue seems to have faded into oblivion.

“A year or two before, we learnt that the state government was deciding to put a strict ban on the use of plastics but the move faltered after a few months and now we are all back to square one,” a shopkeeper said.

“We all are responsible for this plastic menace. We as customers need to be aware,” said a resident.

On the other hand, the city administration is of the opinion that awareness on curbing usage of plastics is being expedited and raids are conducted to check its rampant use.

“We have already begun wide-spread awareness campaigns in collaboration with OSPCB to make the city plastic-free. Other steps like establishment of treatment plants and solid waste management infrastructure is also being looked into,” said BMC Mayor, Ananta Narayan Jena.