Kerala produces 480 tonnes of plastic waste per day as the administration fails to enforce a ban on plastic material below 50 microns. On an average, a family in the state produces 60 grams of plastic waste per day, the Kerala Suchitwa Mission has estimated.
The state government has spent more than Rs 2.5 crore over the past two years on awareness campaigns, yet the plastic waste problem shows no sign of abating.
The local self-government department issued an order banning plastic items below 50 microns in 2016. Yet a majority of the local bodies took no action to ban the sale of such plastic items. The manufacture of such plastic is also not banned yet. The local bodies seldom try to adhere to 2016 guidelines to issue licences to such manufacturing units.
The Thiruvananthapuram municipal corporation produces 26 tonnes of plastic waste per day, while Kochi and Kozhikode produce 16 tonnes each. Kollam is the next biggest offender with eight tonnes. Thrissur produces seven tonnes and Kannur four tonnes.
An ambitious project to recycle plastic waste by using them to make roads has not helped, the administration admitted in response to a query under the Right to Information Act.
The government ordered to use plastics for 10 per cent of the roads built by local bodies in 2016-17. The target was doubled to 20 per cent a year later. The Clean Kerala Company was entrusted to powder plastic and hand over the material for the public works department and local bodies.