GUWAHATI, June 12 � Opposing a blanket ban on the use of plastic, the North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) along with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering Technology (CIPET) today asked the authorities to improve municipal solid waste management system so that plastic waste could be turned into wealth.
Supporting the ban on plastic products below 40 microns as notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, the organization came out in support of safeguarding the interest of Small Scale Industries, which are manufacturing plastic/thermacol cups and plates above 60 microns, arguing that the waste generated from such products can easily be recycled.
Addressing the media here, Sailen Baruah, State president of NESSIA said that the municipal authority should be responsible for setting up and proper operation of the waste management system and for performing associate functions including safe collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste. �If this process is followed properly, no damage would be caused to the environment.�
Also voicing concern over lack of awareness among the people, NESSIA members said that if there is no civic sense among people, any ban from the government would not be effective. �Plastic has become an inseparable part of our lives and it�s up to us whether we use it for our benefit or create a menace for ourselves,� said Roshan Surana, an industrialist said. �Even the so-called eco-friendly bags, being distributed in market free of cost to restrict the use of plastic carry bags are not cloth bags, but, are made of polypropylene plastic,� he added.
Giving a break-up of the waste generated in Guwahati, Baruah said that of the 50 per cent households covered by RAMKY, the average generation of garbage is 400 MT per day, which contains nearly 3.5 per cent recyclable plastic. The GMC can avail the facilities available in the CIPET Plastic Waste Management Centre at Changsari, Guwahati and convert the plastic waste into wealth.
According to Rajib Kr Das, faculty of CIPET, the Guwahati unit of the institution has the country�s first plastic waste management recycling centre with the capacity of processing nearly 1,500 kg plastic waste every day.
Arguing that any product thrown into the drain be it plastic, cloths, stone, construction material, wood or silt would clog the drain and cause artificial floods, Sailen Baruah added that it�s a myth that plastic in the only culprit in clogging the drains. �The waste material should be segregated into bio-degradable and non bio-degradable parts. While the former can be composted into manure, the latter could be easily recycled,� he added.