06 Jun 2023  |   06:54am IST

Plastic ban only on paper, reality of the menace seen on streets and beaches

Goa’s ban on plastic below 40 microns lies in tatters on its streets; a third of the 800-ton waste generated in Goa daily is plastic
Plastic ban only on paper, reality of the menace seen on streets and beaches

PRATIK PARAB

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PANJIM: While the state is observing World Environment day themed around saying no to plastics the use of plastic bags and the plastic waste being strewn across roadsides into water bodies continues. 

Heaps of plastic waste can be seen on roadsides near rivers and streams in the Tourism State of Goa. Even as Goa was the first state to impose a ban on plastic below 40 microns there is no attempt being seen to implement the same in letter and spirit.

Ministers and elected representatives have made many promises and speeches on banning plastic. But they have been just that- empty words 

When Team Herald reporters went to the market to do a reality check they noticed that plastic bags were seen being given to the customers who came to the market to buy fruits and vegetables. 

These bags are ultimately making their way to roadsides and into the rivers, water bodies or oceans carried by rain waters. Garbage could be seen scattered on the road towards St Cruz and other major roads outside Panjim. The neglect of local authorities has made matters worse.  

 George Fernandes, a local activist said, “World Environment Day is observed across India. However, the enlightening of public needs a stronger push. Garbage, mostly plastic is still seen thrown on roadsides,” he said. 

Thankfully village-level organisations and institutions run by environment crusaders like Clinton Vaz, treat the garbage coming from almost 45,000 homes. Vaz said, “Goa generates almost 500 to 800 tonnes of waste in a day. A third of this garbage is plastic. A significant quantity of this waste is being dumped in the open. Huge quantities of low-value plastics are not being treated which ends up polluting the environment. We don't want the waste dumped in the open because we are a tourism state,” Vaz said.

Unless the Government takes strict steps to avoid plastic pollution, observing World Environment Day will look like a meaningless exercise. 


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