In a bid to curb plastic use in Visakhapatnam by October 2020, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has kickstarted various activities in the city. As a part of the campaign, the civic body is organising awareness drives at schools, NGOs and other places. Furthermore, the GVMC has been cracking the whip on vendors and shopkeepers who are found having single-use plastic bags less than 50 microns. In the last few months, about Rs 20 lakh has been collected, as fines, by the sanitary officials of the GVMC.
The civic body’s relentless efforts seem to be yielding results, as big departmental stores, and small vendors, are falling in line fearing fines. While some shopkeepers switched over to using paper bags, others are asking customers to bring their own bags. In order to intensify the anti-plastic campaign, the GVMC has also ordered local function halls to use eco-friendly utensils.
Incentivising the collection of plastic waste, the GVMC will provide rewards to as many as 1000 rag-pickers from the city for their contribution to the campaign. Also, a plastic recycling unit is being set up at the Kapuluppada dump yard. With an estimate of Rs 30 lakh, the GVMC is setting up the plant in association with a city-based NGO, Indian Youth for Society.
With punitive action and community involvement, the GVMC hopes to contain the widespread use of plastic by October 2020.