The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) told the Madras High Court on Monday that it had stepped up the campaign against banned single-use plastic products. He said several teams had been formed to inspect stores and seize banned plastics in addition to fining traders.

A bench consisting of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and PT Asha was told that 47,961 shops had been inspected and 20,056 kg of prohibited plastics seized between August 19, 2021 and March 18 this year.

Additional General Counsel J. Ravindran said the Company collected ₹36.50 lakh as a fine from traders.

The AAG provided a breakdown by area of ​​inspections and the amount of fines collected over the past seven months. He said the Society had enforced the ban with full vigor in the 15 civic body areas and a special campaign was carried out in Kolathur and Villivakkam areas after the court orders.

Stating that Society Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi himself had monitored the strict implementation of the ban on single-use plastics, the AAG said the civic body had decided to further strengthen implementation. Sanitary inspectors had been instructed to carry out daily checks in shops and other establishments.

He said repeat offenders such as shops that continued to use the banned single-use plastics despite being seized and fined would face having their business license revoked. Those stores would be closed and sealed and the Company was committed to the cause, the AAG added.

GCC has stepped up efforts to separate plastics from its legacy waste in landfills, form them into cubic compacted blocks and send them to pyrolysis burners at cement plants to reduce plastics in the ground and legacy waste, said Mr. Ravindran and explained several other steps taken.

He said the GCC has held sensitization meetings with traders and associations of plastic manufacturers. A call was made to vegetable, flower and fruit traders in the Koyambedu wholesale market to use cloth bags instead of plastic bags and about 5,000 cloth bags were distributed to them.

So far, more than a lakh of cloth bags had been distributed free of charge, the AAG said and promised to file another status report after four weeks.

The bench accepted his submission and adjourned a matter before them to April 21 and asked Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan to verify the Center’s position on the fight against plastics as there was a complaint about banned plastic entering the Tamil Nadu from other states.