Noida Dialogue

An initiative of Democratic Outreach for Social Transformation, DOST

Noida Authority launches anti-plastic drive

July 3, 2019

NOIDA: Taking forward from yesterday’s sustainable environment measures at water conservation initiatives, Noida Authority on Tuesday launched a campaign/drive against plastics titled ‘Say No to Plastics.’ Under the drive, Authority aims to make Noida a plastic-free zone for which it will begin distributing bags made from cloth through volunteer groups from July 4. The bags will be initially distributed to vegetable and fruit vendors to encourage them to refrain from using polythene bags.

While cost of the bags will be borne by volunteer groups initially, Authority will bear its cost later. Simultaneous awareness drives on sustainable options across residential sectors and markets will also be held by Authority. The move comes even as Noida Authority’s previous campaign against plastic last year proved to be totally ineffective.

“Yesterday we launched the water conservation measures including recharging of rain water harvesting pits across Noida along with development of parks, vertical gardens, restoring wetlands and ponds in the district. Today, we have called for a ‘Say no to plastic’ drive where we aim Noida to become a self-sustainable city. In this, efforts will be made to make Noida a plastic free city,” said Alok Tandon CEO Noida authority.

Tandon adds that to take the initiative forward, “Noida Authority will distribute bags made from cloth to lay citizens, vegetable and fruit vendors to encourage them to refrain from plastics.”

Even as plastics have become an important part and parcel of modern day life, the flip side is that plastics are non-biodegradable and can persist in environment for decades causing soil pollution and choking water bodies thereby having numerous detrimental effects on environment especially single use plastics.

Stray animals such as cows, buffaloes as well as underwater creatures such as sea birds, fishes etc. are known to gulp plastic mistakenly as their food intake which chokes them to death. Despite these negative impacts, plastic has remained popular because of its ease of use.

“It’s to address this issue as well as to make people aware about the negative environmental impacts of plastic and encourage them to use environmental friendly alternatives, Noida Authority has come up with ‘Say No to Plastics’ drive,” said Tandon.

Tandon adds that the main purpose of the drive is to make it a people initiative where common people will be made aware of the dangers of plastic and switch over to cloth bags. “The drive should initiate a mood that people completely ‘do away’ with plastic bags while they go to markets for purchasing groceries. This will not only reduce plastic waste, but also be beneficial for the city and environment in the long run,” said Tandon.

However, this is not the first time that Authority has woken to the dangers from plastic. Last year (in 2018) around the same time in July Noida authority had issued a ban on the use of polythene bags across markets, shopkeepers and vegetable/fruit vendors based on state government’s July 15, 2018 directive enforcing a ban on plastic across all cities.

The Uttar Pradesh Plastic and other Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Regulation of Use and Disposal) Act, 2000, was amended and an ordinance 2018 was issued to that effect.

The ordinance, enforced through the district administration in coordination with Noida Authority, completely banned the storage, sale and use of all non-biodegradable products including plastic and thermocol products like cups, plates and spoons etc. with provisions of penalty ranging from Rs 1,000 for using bags of less than 50 microns to Rs 10,000 if caught again. Shopkeepers faced threat of six months jail or a fine between Rs 10, 000 and 50,000 for storing or selling polythene bags.

Despite these stringent measures, violations exist even today as officials from public health department, Noida Authority carry out periodic drives against plastic/polythene bags and their use across markets and commercial complex along with levying fines.
Given the scenario, only time will tell to what extent Authority succeeds in its ‘no plastic’ drive for the city.


Source : The Times of India