Plastic packaging still unbridled in Bengaluru

Plastic packaging still unbridled in Bengaluru

Plastic packaging is still rampant in Bengaluru.  The people of Bengaluru are still being haunted by plastic menace. 

Plastic packaging continues to be a major contributor to the city’s overflowing landfills. Plastic is widely used in our day to day life. Starting from a pen to a polythene bag in which we carry fruits and books are forms of plastic. Though convenient in our day to day use, it has posed an alarming threat to the environment.

A shop stocks hundreds of plastic packaging covers to pack and one finds dozens of such shops on any busy street in Bengaluru.

Banned plastic packaging items :

No person including shop keeper, Vendor, wholesalers, retailers, trader, hawker or salesmen shall use plastic carry bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic flags, plastic plates etc. are supposed to use plastic items. All the above mentioned items are banned by the BBMP.

BBMP Inspection :

The medical officer of health (MOH) from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) raided shops in the Jayanagar Assembly constituency and slapped Rs 1.5 lakh fine on four shops for using plastic covers.

In 2016, the state government imposed a blanket ban on manufacturing, storing, distributing and using single-use plastics such as carry bags, flex banners, plates, cups and spoons. 

Hazards of plastic usage :

Plastic – Plastic bags- an environmental hazard. The problem created by the use of plastics bags is primarily due to shortcomings in the waste management system. Indiscriminate chemical additives pose environmental problems including choking open drains, ground water contamination, etc.

Plastic is non-biodegradable and do not decay by biological actions of microbes. They remain in the same state as we throw them. So, dumps or garbage are created making our cities and soil polluted.

Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

Harmful Chemical :

To destroy plastics, we can either recycle or burn them. If we burn plastic, they emit harmful chemical gases like carbon dioxide (CO,), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NO), methane (CH4), sulphur dioxides (SO2), etc. These gases pollute our environment, though in negligible content, they add to green house effect and endanger our environment.

Damage Sanitary System :

The wastes of plastic block pipes and sanitary lines so that dirty water came out on roads. This cause fear of malaria, cholera and other diseases.

Ecosystem Imbalance :

Due to wide scale use of plastic, water, soil and air pollutions are caused. These polluted components of environment lead to imbalance of various ecosystem of the Earth.

Only solution to this plastic hazard is to take preventive measures and for that,

a. To reduce use of plastic wherever possible

b. To use recyclable bags and things

c. To recycle the used plastic

d. Not to throw used plastic here and there

e. To collect the used plastic by the Government and then to recycle them

f. Only recyclable plastics should be allowed to use

g. Some legal norms should be declared.

How plastic is bad for the environment?

A dead albatross chick with plastic marine debris in its stomach

Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystem of the world. This can cause serious harm to the species that drink the water. Landfill areas contain many different types of plastics.

Chemical Migration from Plastic Packaging into Contents :

People are exposed to these chemicals not only during manufacturing, but also by using plastic packages, because some chemicals migrate from the plastic packaging to the foods they contain.

Examples of plastics contaminating food have been reported with most plastic types, including Styrene from polystyrene, plasticizers from PVC, antioxidants from polyethylene, and Acetaldehyde from PET.

Find alternatives to plastic products whenever possible. Some specific suggestions:
  • Buy food in glass or metal containers; avoid polycarbonate drinking bottles with Bisphenol A which causes  diabetes and diseases of the heart and liver.
  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap.
  • Do not give young children plastic teethers or toys
  • Use natural fiber clothing, bedding and furniture
  • Avoid all PVC and Styrene products
Benefit of reusable bags :
  • Because plastic bags are made from oil, reducing them would decrease foreign oil dependency.
  • Start preserving the thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million of birds who die from plastic bags each year.
  • Paper bags also pose a problem. Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year which translates into approximately 14 million cut down trees. Think of how reusable bags can save our trees.
  • Also conserve water as paper production requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water (not to mention the toxic chemicals involved in processing).

Small shops in Bengaluru city are doing their bit but it is the retail giants who are flouting the rules.  Vegetable vendors and small shop owners are buying paper bags, while some of the  retail giants are still using plastic bags.


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