When Mahatma Gandhi first visited Trivandrum, he called it the ‘Green city of India’. And just a few years back, it was also known as among the cleanest city in India. Sadly, the situation has been changing and Trivandrum is fast filling up with garbage everywhere – more specifically plastic carry bags.
It’s been well over a decade since the government has been trying to ban the use of plastic carry bags but enforcing the rule has had its share of hurdles. These bags below 40-50 microns are popularly used in the sales of perishables like vegetables, fish, and meat. The same bags are then used for dumping kitchen waste in public spaces, creating a health hazard.
Decomposing food is harmful to the birds and animals that eat it while creating an awful stench that affects human health. These plastic bags eventually get snarled up in the roots of trees affecting their growth and also end up in the water bodies of the city leading to the death of fishes, pollution of the waters and more health issues.
It’s high time that the plastic ban was treated seriously by citizens of the city. Plastic eradication has become a must to keep Trivandrum’s clean and green beauty intact. As it takes centuries to degrade, the indigenes owe it to the future generations so they may not suffer because of the current ignorant attitude of people today.
To address this problem, the City Corporation has set up stalls at various points in the city where the public can hand over clean and dry plastic bags along with other plastic items for collection. Aerobic bins are also attached to these stalls for organic waste. The used plastic materials are then taken to the Corporation’s Shredding Unit for further processing and recycling.
On March 1st, 2017, the corporation council approved a complete ban on plastic carry bags as well as on the use of plastic disposables for festivals and celebrations in the city. These include plastic sheets, plastic covers, and disposable plastic plates and glasses. Aside from this, the corporation has been giving a push towards encouraging the use of paper, cloth and jute bags for a greener approach.
Majority of shopkeepers appear to be cooperating in this initiative, but in spite of its being a year since the ban was implemented, some plastic bags stuffed with garbage can still be seen strewn on the roadsides.
Trivandrum needs to wake up!
It will probably take a little while longer before Trivandrum again attains its glorious status of being among the cleanest cities of the country!