SRINAGAR, Aug 10: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today sought complete ban on single-use plastics in the State as it is killing the environment and hazardous to health as well.
A DAK spokesman said that while Jammu and Kashmir Government has banned use of polythene bags below thickness of 50 microns, a complete ban should be on single-use plastics including cutlery, plates, cups, glasses, bottles, straws, stirrers, thermocol and food packaging.
DAK President, Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said the State generates more than 280 metric tons of plastic waste daily and with no recycling, it litters the streets or ends up in garbage dumps. “Not only is plastic killing the environment, but it is also hazardous to human health. Plastic is non-biodegradable. It just sits and pollutes the environment,” he said.
Nisar said that plastic releases chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates that are toxic to humans, adding that humans are exposed to these chemicals through air, water or food.
Quoting studies, he said exposure of pregnant women to phthalates has given birth to babies with genital abnormalities and people with exposure to BPA have increased rate of heart disease and diabetes.
Nisar said that many animals consume plastic waste, often choke and die. “The litter that is being delivered into water is toxic to marine life as well,” he said.
He further said that plastic litter blocks the drains and canals that is responsible for repeated flooding in the valley.
“If Maharashtra has imposed blanket ban on single-use plastic in a bid to protect its ecosystem, why not in eco-fragile J&K which remains unparalleled in terms of natural beauty and etched on every tourist’s wish list,” he added.