Use of plastic gloves worries activists
Consumer activists have questioned the rationale behind the use of tonnes of extraordinarily skinny plastic gloves through the April 6 voting for the Assembly election. They stated that although the use of plastics lower than 50 micron for medical functions just isn’t banned, that is nonetheless an abuse of the ban on plastics applied within the State.
“It took us a year to come even close to bringing some discipline. The government forced some 140 units making single-use plastic bags to close down. They made people buy cloth bags and use them. Big shops, too, converted after much persuasion. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, all that went down the drain. And the election happened and all that the government could think of was single-use plastic gloves. They could have provided us with sticks or something wooden. After all, the number [of voters] is really huge — six crore,” stated client activist T. Sadagopan.
S. Saroja, of the Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, stated that although the Election Commission of India was involved about public security, it might have thought it out higher. “They checked temperature and provided sanitisers when voters entered the booths. Similarly, they could have given sanitisers when voters finished voting. The advice that they have been giving us is to wash our hands or sanitise. The collected stuff is either going to be sent to the landfill or incinerated, both of which are not environment- friendly.”
Sources within the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board stated there isn’t any ban on single-use plastics for medical functions however their correct disposal is the duty of the native our bodies.
Despite a number of makes an attempt, this reporter couldn’t attain official sources within the Greater Chennai Corporation or within the ECI. However, officers in numerous native our bodies stated the ECI had offered yellow-coloured luggage for the gloves to be packed and disposed of by way of incineration. “We did the same for the PPE kits used when COVID-19 patients came,” stated an official.
V.G. Sivaramakrishnan, of Iyyapanthangal, was among the many voters who was anxious about plastic gloves strewn about at many cubicles. “In many places, people carried the gloves and threw them on the road after using them. I saw people doing that. In our household, we use as few plastics as possible. Seeing the way plastic gloves were treated yesterday [on Tuesday], I felt all our efforts to change the system at home has been a waste,” he stated.
A former official of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board felt that the Board ought to have ensured that each one the waste was correctly incinerated.