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Strewn plastic mocks at poly ban

Despite the state government having imposed a ban on the use of plastic carry bags and other such packaging material, heaps of such material has been found strewn around in the Industrial Area of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN).

The problem is more pronounced along National Highway (NH) No. 21-A. Plastic waste can be seen lying in heaps on both sides of the road. Since Baddi shares a border with Haryana, the situation is equally alarming in both the states. Scrap dealers have accumulated plastic waste on both sides of the national highway.

Plastic waste is seen strewn on all roads of the BBN and the municipal committees have failed to check their use.

Since plastic is used as a packaging material by MNCs and they procure several plastic packed products from other states, it has become difficult to rid the BBN area of the menace.

At least 20 per cent of the waste is contributed by the material rejected in companies in various manufacturing processes. It has been stated that 80 per cent of the rejected material is recycled and put to other use. Since this rejected material has no other use, it is sold to junk dealers who dump it in their open yards and burn it after failing to find it to be of utility anywhere, confided Mukesh Kumar, an investor from Baddi.

Plastics are used as laminated sheets in various industries which find use in packaging. There are several such items which reach the BBN from other states.

Investors opined that things were improving after the High Court ban and several warehouses which were earlier operating from the Baddi-Siswan road had shifted to other states.

The government had directed the municipal councils to buy plastics from people at the rate of Rs 3 per kg and further sell it to the Public Works Department (PWD) at the rate of Rs 4 per kg. It was decided that the PWD would use plastic in the construction of roads.

People have not quite come forward to use this opportunity to dispose of plastic in a hygienic manner and it is found strewn at every nook and corner.

Rag-pickers are found rummaging through heaps of plastic in search of articles which can be sold further in the BBN area. The state government had bagged an award for ridding the state of plastics, but the campaign had a limited impact. Despite several officials having been authorised to challan users, they often adopt an indifferent attitude towards violations.

The Tribune (02-04-2014)