The use of carry bags and Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) with a thickness of less than 75 microns is now officially prohibited in Telangana state, with the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department issuing orders to that effect beginning Thursday. Simultaneously, the department is preparing to strictly enforce the orders across the state. Aside from the ban on plastic less than 75 microns thick, use of carry bags and SUPs less than 120 microns thick will be prohibited beginning July 1, 2022.
N Satyanarayana, Commissioner and Director Municipal Administration (CDMA), issued directives to municipalities and municipal corporations throughout the state to effectively implement these orders. With specific timelines, an action plan for the ban and elimination of the use of carry bags smaller than 75 microns has been prepared. These orders were issued by the Central Pollution Control Board as part of the 2016 effective plastic waste management rules. These regulations have already been communicated to manufacturers and traders. The ban was supposed to come into effect in September 30, but was postponed due to rains and other factors, according to a CDMA official.
As a result, municipalities and municipal corporations have been directed to form a city-level task force comprised of Municipal Commissioners, Health Officers, Sanitary Supervisors, Sanitary Inspectors, representatives of two NGOs, and one police constable to ensure that the ban is effectively implemented.
As part of these orders, municipalities and municipal corporations have been directed to establish a plastic waste management cell at the Urban Local Body (ULB) level. In addition to conducting public awareness campaigns about the negative environmental impact of SUP and promoting the use of cloth bags, officials have been directed to conduct twice-weekly raids beginning October 22 to ensure that the prohibited carry bags or SUP are not in use.
From October 22, the Municipal Administration Department will also focus on the effective implementation of door-to-door waste collection, including source segregation, to ensure scientific disposal of the collected waste. This exercise will be carried out in three stages, beginning with commercial and bulk waste generators and progressing to residential colonies (beginning November 1) and slums (from November 18). Following that, officials will have to compile a list of bulk waste generators in their respective municipalities and corporations, as well as install twin litter bins every 100 to 200 metres, depending on the population density of the ULB. Officials have issued directives to bulk waste generators.