Kohima: Following the state’s total ban on single-use plastic items in October, the Kohima Smart City Mission on Friday creatively installed ‘plastic banks’ across ‘critical locations’ of the state capital with the hope to instill in minds the need to segregate and recycle plastic waste.
Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) administrator Kovi Meyase said that currently there are four plastic banks set up across critical locations of the city including at Razhu Point, BOC Viliethie Complex and High School. Ten more are likely to come up across strategic locations in Kohima soon.
Speaking with EastMojo, Meyase said that even if the KMC puts up 50-60 of such structures and people do no utilise them to their logical purpose, it may be another waste. “So, we want to test the water and see whether people can get into the habit of at least putting the plastic bottles, in particular, into the plastic banks,” he added.
Meyase further informed that these banks were “primarily and specifically” built to collect waste plastic bottles which will, in turn, be shredded and recycled. These wastes will be emptied twice a week and will be treated at the solid waste management (SWM) facility at Lerie.
“We are in touch with the PWD [Public Works Department] so that they can use it in the road-making process. We hope that it will be a success,” he added.
Although these banks are primarily for plastic bottles, other plastic wastes such as wrappers are also seen in these banks. He also informed that plastic waste will be segregated at the SWM facility for further recycling.
Speaking about the mass awareness of waste segregation from households, Meyase said that the KMC in collaboration with ‘Green Team Kohima’ has been making continuous efforts to reach out to the people. He also mentioned how the team checks and teaches waste segregation to the wards by visiting the areas as early as 6 am when the waste vehicles begin the waste collection process.
When asked about his opinion on the effectiveness of the ban on single-use plastics Meyase said that this is a grey area and if we go by the plastic ban order, it is mentioned that there is a ban on water bottles.
“So even within that, I think there has to be a categorisation”, he said
The KMC administrator further revealed that the organisation has written to the District Task Force, which is chaired by the deputy commissioner (DC) and he has sought the directive of the government and the KMC is awaiting it. He also went to highlight how a specific ban on drinking water bottles depending on the milliliters (ml) and liters (l) must be made clear.
He also expressed how the ban order on Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) must be also be classified citing that PVC materials that are used for sanitary fittings (plastic pipes), vehicle parts and so on are “not practical” to be totally banned.
Furthermore, he cited that a ban on polypropylene (PP), which includes food wraps used in bakeries, are certified by food safety authorities and if the government’s order is to follow, it will also be banned which could lead to a breakdown in the local kitchen industry where women prepare licensed food items and sell them at bakeries using these food wraps.
“Although a total ban on plastic is impossible, we cannot afford to let down our enforcement,” he added.
Urging the public to “try and change” the habit of using plastic, he appealed the public to utilise the plastic banks for plastic disposals only.