Manufacture of polythene is a source of livelihood for some rather a lucrative business for certain businessmen people but it is a disaster for the public at large. Polythene, a necessary evil is being condemned throughout the world for its adverse effects on environment. We see cleanliness drives being organized by government agencies, students, NGOs over decade but these drives have proved to be mere futile exercises and have failed miserably to curb this menace. These days we see youth coming on roads and collecting polythene from the drains, streams, roads etc with an aim to save the environment from its hazardous effects. But they should realize that such cleanliness drives have been carried on innumerable occasions but despite such drives we witness that the polythene pollution is increasing at an alarming pace and tempo. Time now is to find an effective remedy to this nuisance. Jammu and Kashmir generates alone more than 280 metric tons of plastic waste daily there being no recycling, it ultimately litters the streets and creates garbage damps. Polythene, plastic being non-biodegradable in turn pollutes environment. In the absence of landfill sites and scientific disposal methods the environment day by day becomes more victim of this nuisance. Legally if we see SRO 45 dated 03/02/2107 and sub-section (3) of section 7 of the Jammu and Kashmir state non-biodegradable material management handling and disposal Act 2007, it imposes complete ban on the manufacture, stocking, distribution, sale and use of polythene carry bags, plastic sheets or covers made of plastic sheets, plastic packing’s in the state of J&K. The Honourable High Court has too directed the Municipal departments to implement the polythene ban effectively to make J&K polythene free. So it is clear from the above legal position that students, NGOs, should seek complete ban of polythene from the government besides carrying out cleanliness drives. Polythene producing factories manufacture polythene bags earn crores and government acts as a mute spectator thereby indirectly violates its own laws and rules dealing with the manufacture of polythene bags, despite knowledge that it engulfs public heath in general and environment in particular.
Wahid Ali Lone