Waging a lone battle against polythene, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), it seems, has run out of steam when it comes to carry out a complete ban on the use of polythene carry bags. While the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has major responsibility, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) cannot enforce the ban all alone is the stand the civic body takes. In fact, by empowering police to take action against defaulters is no solution to a problem where people are involved. The issue concerns people and the commerce related to the business. Polythene bags are being used openly in the city by traders, despite ban on it by the High Court. And, much to the chagrin of government agencies, environmentalists and right-thinking individuals, polythene, it seems, has become an indispensable part of the civil society in the city. Be they grocery stores, cosmetic stores, vegetable vendors, cloth merchants, eateries and restaurants, polythene has choked lives everywhere. Even the customers don’t object to usage of polythene bags and have a happy-go-lucky attitude without thinking about its ramifications in the long run. All said and done the ban has literally not been able to make any impact over its usage. The ban was imposed in 2009 on 16 items of non-biodegradable material, including polythene, polybags, nylon and thermocol, as per SRO-182 (ban on carrying polythene bags) under the Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling, and Disposal) Act 2007. What the authorities should do is use the seized polythene bags by recycling them and can be used as a bonding component for road relaying and for canal lining which not only makes the roads smooth for traffic and remains crack or damage-free and canal lining remains crack-free. Western countries have used this technology especially in West Germany, which is a pioneering country to develop the technology of recycled polythene for road building to give all weather surfaces. Is there anyone to take the cue?
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