RAIPUR: The ban on single-use plastic (SUP) in the country, effective since July 1, has led Chhattisgarh to launch 500 “Bartan Banks” in urban and semi-urban areas. The new ban affects 19 items: headphones, plastic balloon sticks, flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol), plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, packaging films or wrapping around candy boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners under 100 microns and unusable stirrers.
Bartan Bank will provide stainless steel utensils – plates, glasses, cups, spoons and other items – to replace disposable plastics at public functions, social and religious events. The “bank” will be opened in 14 municipal corporations, 43 municipalities and 112 nagar panchayats in the state. Utensils will be available for nominal rent.
The Urban Administration Department of Chhattisgarh has ordered commissioners and chief executives of all urban bodies to open such banks in their respective areas at the earliest. “The decision to facilitate 500 “Bartan banks” follows a notification issued by the Center. The state has already banned the use of polyethylene since 2017,” an official said. He said the increasing use of plastics at public functions remains a big concern for the environment and health.
According to one estimate, Chhattisgarh consumes an average of 1,000 tons of plastic every month. “Three such banks have started operating in the state capital, Raipur, which are run by a women’s self-help group. We will add more such facilities,” said Aijaz Debar, Mayor of Raipur. Social and religious organizations have also appealed to the population to help and support the initiative.