In order to reduce the rampant use of polythene or plastic bags in the state, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has approached the firms in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Daman for supplying biodegradable carry bags.

PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said that after launching the use of biodegradable carry bags from Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, these carry bags have been delivered in all the major cities and town of Punjab offering the public a scientific and viable alternative of plastic carry bags.

However, Pannu admitted, though use of plastic carry bags are banned in the state, but due to lack of viable alternative, these are being used unchecked.

He said, the Board has approached certain firms in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Daman which are manufacturing biodegradable carry bags made from the starch of potato, maize and ensured the supply of such biodegradable carry bags to the state.

“The officers of the Board approached the traders of the plastic carry bags in the main cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda and Mohali to replace the plastic carry bags with biodegradable bags to ensure that these carry bags reach at the tail end of the users,” PPCB Chairman said. He further said that now these biodegradable carry bags have reached at all the district headquarters of the state.

Pannu said that with the help of district administration, these carry bags have been delivered at chemists shops, medical stores, malls, sweet shops and karyana (grocery) stores. The municipal commissioners and executive officers of various civic bodies have been directed to implement the use of biodegradable carry bags in the market, he said.

The district mandi officers have also been requested to ensure the use of these carry bags in vegetable and fruit markets.

“Even in the hospitals, it has been ensured that biomedical waste be stored in these biodegradable carry bags to phase out the possibility of the reuse of plastic carry bags again by biomedical waste treatment facilities of the state,” Pannu added.