Under the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Project, a plastic ban activity was conducted in the Periyanaickenpalayam Town Panchayat, Coimbatore, from 20 January 2012. The ban, on plastic carry bags less than 40 microns and disposable plastic cups, was imposed following a resolution passed by the Town Panchayat in the presence of the Panchayat Chairman, Mr. P.R.G. Arun Kumar, the Executive Officer, Mr. Dwarahanath Singh, Sanitary Inspector Mr. Paramasivam, Ward Councillors, ERPC (Environment Rights Protection Committee) members, Hand in Hand officials and representatives from the Traders’ Association.
The week-long activity included a door-to-door awareness programme, distribution of pamphlets, pasting awareness stickers on prominent places like commercial complexes and shops with high footfall and distribution of cloth bags to every household as an alternative to plastic bags. College students participated in a rally to raise awareness on the harmful effects of plastics and the necessity to ban it. Awareness messages were also spread through a public address system fitted in an autorickshaw as the vehicle traversed through the entire town.
A series of monitoring and follow-up activities have been planned to gauge the impact of the campaign.
Periyanaickenpalayam Town Panchayat, which has over 700 commercial establishments, is an industrial hub. The plastics being banned were generated mainly by commuters and local industrial sectors. Hand in Hand, which implemented its solid waste management initiatives in Periyanaickenpalayam Town Panchayat from June 2010, covers about 13,027 households here.