The Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) has appealed for all denizens of Kohima to join hands in a plastic free awareness campaign at the state capital.The KMC is implementing the Plastic Waste (Management & Handling), Rules 2011, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
It states that the thickness of plastic carry bags made of virgin or recyclable or compostable plastics shall not be less than 40 microns in thickness. The use of plastic materials in sachets for storing, packing or selling gutka, tobacco and pan masala is also banned, the KMC said adding that each plastic carry bag and multilayered packaging should have the name, registration number of the manufactures and thickness information in case of carry bags. It added that no carry bags shall be made available for free of cost by retailers to consumers.
In its pamphlet on the plastic free awareness campaign, KMC cautioned that plastic is one of the most critical environment hazards due to its non-biodegradable nature. The average plastic bag takes about 1000 years to break down and degrade. Plastic waste leads to choked up drains and gutters, making it a breeding ground for germs and bacteria causing many diseases.
Plastic waste also leads to loss in porosity of the soil, reduction in seepage of water into the ground further reducing the levels of ground water. It poses a grave threat to the aquatic life and animals who consume plastic waste. It also said that burning of plastic results in the release of harmful toxic gases like carbon-monoxide.