Ranipet to distribute manjapai to all 3 lakh households to weed out single use plastic

What started as an exercise to weed out this malaise when the Collector saw the bags being used in shops while on a routine inspection expanded to cover various areas resulting in Rs 1.80 lakh being realised as fines from the offending traders.
Ranipet to distribute manjapai to all 3 lakh households to weed out single use plastic
Ranipet Collector Baskara Pandian inspecting shops during the four-day drive

Ranipet: Plans are afoot to distribute yellow cloth bags (manjapai) to all 3 lakh households in the district in an effort to create awareness on the need to safeguard the environment, Collector Baskara Pandian told DT Next on Tuesday.

This follows the Collector personally leading a four-day anti-single use plastic bags drive in the district, which resulted in 23 tonnes of the banned plastic bags being seized from Wallajahpet, Arakkonam and Sholingur municipalities.

What started as an exercise to weed out this malaise when the Collector saw the bags being used in shops while on a routine inspection expanded to cover various areas resulting in Rs 1.80 lakh being realised as fines from the offending traders.

“I also advised shops and shop keepers on the need to use cloth bags and not plastic bags during the drive,” he said. Asked if such banned products could not be stopped at the source by initiating action against those manufacturing such products, he said “checks by officials revealed that such banned items were manufactured in Chennai whereas manufacturers in Ranipet district made only plastic products which can be recycled.”

The drive resulted in the Collector asking Self Help Groups and diffabled associations to produce yellow bags for replacing plastic use. “However, as the needs of the district cannot be met by local sources alone, we are also procuring them from other areas to ensure that when we start distributing the bags, no household is left out,” he added.

District officials told DT Next that “we need to create more awareness among shop keepers as public will be forced to use cloth bags if they cannot purchase items from them. And when shops themselves switch over to cloth bags, our problem will be largely solved.” Administration is at present finalising the date for the drive.

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