Moving Beyond the Bag

On a recent trip traveling around Tamil Nadu, I couldn’t help but notice the patches of polyethylene sprinkled along the side of the road, entering drainage ditches and likely the mouths of foraging animals. I happened to be in Pondicherry the same day as workshop on plastics was being given, and decided to show up for the afternoon session. It was organized by the Puducherry Pollution Control Committee.

Puducherry is attempting to implement a plastics ban starting later this year, and they invited guests from Delhi and Maharastra to discuss the challenges and successes they have had in implementing a ban on plastic bags in their respective states. Members of the plastics industry were also present as well as the general public.

Having the capacity for enforcement is key to making the program work.  Also being able to implement it on a larger scale, rather than a region by region basis, may prevent plastics from entering states from neighboring areas.

There was some discussion about the potential for recycling and for waste to energy, but also acknowledging that these options have their limitations  when it comes to plastic, and action is needed both upstream and downstream. The role of the invdividual vs. the manufacturer seemed to also come up.

But one thing was clear:

It seems a comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan is in the works for Pudicherry.


~ by sangamithra on August 1, 2009.

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