Corporation officials look for plastic bags in a shop at Anna Daily Market on Mettupalayam Road in Coimbatore during an anti-plastic drive on Saturday. Officials of the Coimbatore Corporation Health Department on Saturday carried out a drive against use of plastic bags which are of less than 20 microns.
On instructions from Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, a team led by Assistant City Health officer R. Sumathi and Assistant Commissioner B. Muthusamy along with five sanitary inspectors and corporation workers conducted raids at over 200 shops in Saibaba Colony area. The Corporation had banned use of plastic bags with less than 20 microns early this year. Following a court stay obtained by the merchants and plastic manufacturers, the enforcement of the ban was kept in abeyance. With the court revoking the stay, the authorities have commenced the drive once again.
Ms. Sumathi said that users of plastic bags would henceforth be fined Rs. 100 while small-scale merchants would be fined Rs. 750 and major shop owners and entrepreneurs Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 5,000. The officials have so far recovered six tonnes of plastic bags. During the drive on Saturday, the authorities removed 3 kg of plastic bags from shops besides use-and-throw plastic cups and plates. Ms. Sumathi said that being the initial stage of the drive, fine was not imposed and the authorities were just making seizure of the bags but subsequently when the drive was intensified, all the shopkeepers and people found using plastic bags would be fined. The Health Department officials also carried out a drive to create awareness on the need to segregate waste at source.