A recent incident of a six-year-old cow not eating properly and facing trouble while excreting wasn’t any other veterinary case for doctors in Chennai. An examination of the cow had revealed a shocking observation that called for dire medical attention. Post an expert operation, a heap of 52 kg plastic waste, removed from the cow’s stomach, was laid down as yet another terrifying reminder of a challenge that has been eating us up, even in Vizag.
The plastic menace has long been a matter of concern in our society. Among the umpteen stern strategies being worked by the authorities, the ban on single-use plastic seemed to promise brighter things. Proposing to impose a blanket ban, the move aimed at curbing the use of disposable plastics, which are of value only once before being thrown away. While the decision, after facing backlash from consumer firms, has been shelved, for now, the motto seems to be clear.
Municipal officials in Vizag too, in their effort to combat pollution, have been cracking the whip on vendors/shopkeepers for employing single-use plastic in the city. Apart from taking punitive action, the GVMC has also been organizing awareness drives with an aim to contain plastic.
However, concerns have been expressed that the measures being taken are amounting to little effect in the city. Too many users of plastic, spread over a vast area, pose a serious obstacle to the ones in-charge. Citing littered tourist spots and plastic-choked drains, several individuals have slammed the authorities for failing to achieve their objectives. They have further urged for better plans and timely action to account for a more effective way of tackling the problem.
As fingers continue to be pointed in different directions, a hint of self-responsibility in avoiding plastic use strikes much sense at the ground level. We talk to Vizag citizens and know their stance on the issue.
“I feel that plastic should totally be banned, and we must go for natural materials instead. While many livelihoods currently depend on plastic, but still a ban is much needed. If we wish to give the future citizens a better planet, the need of the hour is to bring in eco-materials in a big way. Inculcating habits like carrying our own cloth bags, reusing newspapers as carry bags can go a long way.”
“Single-use plastic needs to be banned as it does more harm than good. Not only does food stored in such plastic bags, spoil quickly, but health damage caused by these culprits has also been reported too. Action should be taken in a constructive manner, and I feel that shopkeepers need to be educated about the disadvantages and given exposure to better alternatives. A complete ban should be introduced, and those found guilty should be fined. This must especially be taken up for larger companies that use plastic in their packaging, such that they will shift to eco-friendly alternatives quickly.”