The plan includes incentives to manufacturers of alternative products, incentives to have manufacturers buy back plastics, and the use of plastics for road laying
Tax holidays for firms interested in setting up manufacturing units for alternatives to Single Use Plastic items, arranging financial assistance to those interested in sell alternative products, introduction of ‘buy back’ schemes, setting up of collection centres for plastic waste, reprocessing of plastic waste and creating awareness, form part of Puducherry’s action plan to eliminate plastics in the UT.
The action plan has been prepared by the Department of Science, Technology and Environment and the Puducherry Pollution Control Committee.
It has been prepared based on guidelines given by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change that suggested promotion of the manufacture of alternative materials for single use plastics as a way forward, to make the ban on plastic items weighing less than 50 microns a success in the UT.
The Department, after conducting field assessments, has come to an understanding that locally-available materials such as low-cost cloth, paper bags, non-woven bags, leaves of bananas, lotus, lilies, and Manthara, Areca Nut plates, paper cups and straws have the potential to emerge as major alternatives to single use plastic items.
The government could come out with a policy to provide tax holiday for those interested to set up units to manufacture such materials. By organising financial assistance through banks, stalls selling such products could be set up in many places.
The cost of alternative products is higher than that of plastic. In order to reduce the price, advertisements of various brands should be allowed on these products. The owner of the brand could incur some cost towards the manufacture of the product, the report said.
The services of self-help groups could be used to make cloth and paper bags and the department has planned to provide training for such members in processing of leaf for food packaging.
Commercial centres not using banned items should be honoured by providing them Green Awards. Another way was to encourage consumers to return plastic and multi-layered plastic wrappers to the vendor, was to by giving them incentives. The owner of the brand should print the buy back cost on the wrapper.
The government should encourage use of plastic waste for road and concrete paving bricks. Industrial estates, municipalities and commune panchayats should be encouraged to have one waste processing unit in their place, it said.
Refuse Derived Fuel plants could be set up at waste disposal sites to process bad quality plastics and used cloths. The department would adopt more stringent measures to penalise those manufacturing and selling banned items.
Illegal single use plastic manufacturing units would be traced on the basis of trade licences by local bodies and returns submitted by the traders to the Commercial Taxes Department, the report said.
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