Guwahati, India - Despite a ban on single-use plastic items, the city of Guwahati continues to flout the law with impunity. According to a recent report in the Times of India, the ban on plastic bags, cutlery, and cups has not been strictly enforced, leading to a surge in their use in the city.
Citizens have been raising concerns over the issue for some time, with many pointing to the detrimental impact plastic waste has on the environment. The article in the Times of India notes that single-use plastics are especially harmful as they end up in water bodies and can take hundreds of years to decompose.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) was tasked with enforcing the ban on single-use plastic items, but their efforts have been lackluster at best. Despite the GMC carrying out several drives to seize plastic items, the report suggests that these seizures have had little or no impact.
Speaking to the Times of India, environmental activist Vishal Murarka expressed his frustration at the city's continued flouting of the ban. He said, "The blame lies on the GMC, which has not been serious enough in implementing the ban. What is the use of having a ban if it is not being enforced?"
Others have also pointed out the challenges posed by finding suitable alternatives to single-use plastics. While several businesses have switched to biodegradable alternatives, these are often more expensive and not readily available.
The issue of single-use plastics is a global one, with countries across the world working to reduce their use. In India, the government has launched several initiatives to tackle the problem, including Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and Plastic Waste Management Rules. However, the lack of enforcement in Guwahati highlights the need for greater commitment and action on this issue at the local level.