Skip to main content

Failure to effect single use plastic ban: Officials blame it on 'careless' Gujarat public

By Rajiv Shah*  

Does the Gujarat government believe that what is called single use plastic – declared “banned” on July 1, 2022 eight years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi “exhorted” to do it on coming to power in 2014 – continues to be indiscriminately used thanks to “irresponsible consumers"? It would seem so, if the proceedings of a seminar organised by an environmental NGO, in which middle-level state officials and industry representatives, participated.
The Paryavaran Mitra-sponsored meet, held at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA), saw officials from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Gujarat), admit, indeed without mincing words, that the plastic ban remains ineffective because of “lack of awareness” about it among the general public, even as refusing to take any responsibility for implementing the law.
Blame-the-people salvo was fired by Pratik Patwari, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) president, who said, the government “cannot be held responsible” for failing to effect the ban, pointing out, the single use 50 micron plastic is being produced in large quantity in Halol area of Central Gujarat, and “though we are trying to help the small producers to shift to 100 micron, it’s not so easy.” He insisted, “It's the people... What didn’t happen for 70 years cannot be done in five years. At least ten years should be given for implementing the ban.”
GPCB officials CA Shah and Shivani Bhargav, AMC official Monika Patel and Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Gujarat) official Madhavi Patel, even as seeking to censure the general public for continuing to use the single use plastic, appeared to agree that there was an all round failure to implement the ban. If Shah said, 60% of all plastic bags were produced in Gujarat, even as criticising people’s behaviour for “not economizing” (sic!), Bhargav underlined, “We are very slow in shifting to biodegradable bags as compared to most other states.”
What didn’t happen for 70 years cannot be done in five years. At least ten years should be given for implementing the ban
Monika Patel said, despite the ban, the AMC was “collecting” 350 to 400 tonnes of plastic daily in Ahmedabad, but this collection is quite small, adding, about 4,000 tonnes of “legacy plastic” was lying idle in the sold waste dump site, and no industry is ready to pick it up for  recycling, because of “poor treatment facility” across Gujarat. Madhavi Patel, even as insisting that it was Modi who “brought in awareness” about segregating waste between solid, liquid and plastics, agreed, no segregation was taking place in Ahmedabad or other major cities.
Amar Deep Singh, representing NGO CUTS International, the second sponsor of the meet, was all praise for the Gujarat government for creating great innovative facilities for clean environment, pointing to how Ahmedabad ranks among the ecologically best perforning cities of India, citing the Sabarmati Riverfront with gardens and recycling tracks as a sustainable tourism example. When asked if he knew that beyond 11 kilometres, off Vasna barrage, the river turns into a gutter in which industry discharged all its liquid waste, he admitted to Counterview, he hadn't looked into it.
Sharply reacting to the "debate", Hemant Shah, former associate professor at a top Gujarat University college and senior functionary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, said it was shocking how officials were trying to attack people for not effecting the ban. "I am an ordinary consumer. I do not know what this single use plastic is. Hence I take it from the vendor. The government knows it, it has all the machinery to effect the ban. I am flabbergasted how general people are being blamed here. Why don't you locking up industrial units producing it?", he wondered.
---
*Editor, Counterview

Comments

Maya Valecha said…
Production should be stopped at the plastic production level. Again Socialisation of all vital sectors is the key.
To add to what Maya said: the vendors who sell their goods in such bags should be "educated".

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this.