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Issue 12
, 2009
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Campaign against plastic gains pace

Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

plasticTaking serious note of the violation of the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags Control Act, the Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA), Punjab, has initiated a campaign against the manufacture and use of polythene bags in Punjab. The association is tying up with NGOs to start an awareness campaign in rural as well as urban areas of the state. The association pointed out that in wake of the non-implementation of the Act, the injudicious use of these bags had carried on in the state, which was one of the major reasons for repeated gastroenteritis outbreaks in slum areas of the city. Plastic bags are one of the main reasons for the gastro outbreak in slum areas as these bags clog up gutters and drains, causing water and sewage to overflow, which in turn becomes the breeding ground for germs and bacteria, he said. He also stated that people were paying the price for the non-serious approach of recent governments to have a complete ban on the use of plastic bags. The ministry has also asked state governments to register all plastic manufacturing units so that these could be regulated. Plastic is also highly toxic as it is randomly burnt by ragpickers and garbage collectors, subjecting people to cancer-causing gases. Cheap bags contain chemicals like cadmium or lead-based chemicals that are harmful to health.