Even as several months have already passed since the ban of plastic carry bags, the huge quantity of plastic waste getting piled up on waysides in Kozhikode rural area continues to be a concern for local administrators.
The setting up of material recovery facilities for waste collection and their management have turned out to be a futile exercise in many locations on account of poor public response.
Though waste collection points fixed by local bodies concerned are properly being used by residents, passers-by continue to throw plastic waste on waysides. Because of this, roads leading to trekking points and eco-tourism spots are an eyesore now.
“Village roads leading to eco-tourism spots such as Kariyathumpara, Kakkayam, Peruvannamoozhi, and Vayalada are the worst examples. Those who come to such spots recklessly dump mineral water bottles, plastic containers of food and unclean carry bags,” says Jose Chokkattu, a resident of Kuttiyadi. He adds that the isolated stretches of tourism spots are now emerging as small plastic dumping yards.
During heavy rains, the piled-up plastic waste along the road spread over other areas.
Though the grama panchayat authorities had been keen on clearing them earlier, the continuing menace has almost doused the spirit of cleaning labourers. Now, National Service Scheme volunteers are undertaking some cleaning drives with the support of residents’ forums.
The poor management of material recovery facilities in villages is also cited as a reason behind the growing menace of plastic waste. Rijo Sebastian, a Plus Two student from Balussery, says many waste collection bins erected along the road are not emptied and cleared on time, and it has been prompting visitors to Vayalada hill destination to throw plastic waste on the road.
Meanwhile, secretaries of some of the local panchayats say the continuing distribution of plastic carry bags below permitted microns was the main reason for the increasing menace in public places. They say stringent action will be planned soon with the support of the newly elected local body members.