New Delhi: Ahead of World Environment Day, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) has decided to reward those people who use eco-friendly alternatives instead of commonly used plastic bags. To be a part of this novel initiative, all a person needs to do is, use a carry bag other than plastic, click a selfie of them using cloth/jute/canvas bag and share it with the authorities. The move is in line with the blanket ban imposed in Jharkhand on the use of plastic carry bags, irrespective of their thickness and size, on November 15, 2017.
While speaking to NDTV about the initiative, Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Special Officer, JNAC, said,
We impose laws on retailers, sellers, producers, but what about customers? Customers are the one that ask for a plastic bag after every purchase. If customers will not ask for a plastic carry bag then retailers will not keep it with them. This is the reason we are focusing on customers.
The initiative started on May 13 will continue till June 5, the World Environment Day. Till then, residents can click their picture with non-plastic bags in a commercial area and send it on JNAC’S WhatsApp number (7635094335). Every week, five participants will be selected through a lucky draw and rewarded with attractive prizes. Apart from this, all the participants will receive a letter of appreciation at an event to be held on World Environment Day.
The idea behind rewarding people is to encourage them to adopt eco-friendly alternatives to commonly used plastic bags. Our aim is to make Jamshedpur plastic bag free by this World Environment Day, says Sanjay Kumar Pandey.
In order to achieve their aim, the JNAC has cracked down on various retailers, and producers. In the past two months, JNAC seized 18 tonnes of plastic bag, dismantled a factory, and caught a truck carrying plastic bags.
On November 3, we had a meeting with retailers, sellers, manufacturers and asked them about the amount of plastic bags available with them. 115 tonnes of plastic bags existed in the city back then. We gave them some time and released a notice that from November 15, which is also the foundation day, no type of plastic bags will be used in the city. If anyone is caught using plastic bag or bags then a fine of ₹200 will be imposed, tells Sanjay Kumar Pandey.
Earlier, in February, India was declared as the host country for the 45th World Environment Day 2018, in the presence of Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Erik Solheim, Environment Head, United Nations. This year the theme is #BeatPlasticPollution. Ahead of this, all protected zones across the country have been declared plastic free.