Steel Bank in Telangana’s Annampatla GP curbs plastic waste

Annampatla Gram Panchayat in Bibinagar Mandal of Yadadri Bhuvanagiri District in Telangana has set up a steel bank which was recently inaugurated by Smt. Pamela Sathpathi, District collector.  The unit which will lend crockery items for functions in the village is expected to put an end to the use of disposables and curb the use of plastic waste at events.

The steel bank became a reality owing to the generous contribution of philanthropist, Sri V. Balakishan who at the request of the Sarpanch – Smt. Bokka Vasumathi Jaipal Reddy contributed steel utensils worth Rs.28,000 to the GP. 

Among the items handed over to the President, Village Samakhya of the Annampatla GP for proper maintenance of the steel bank were, 200 plates, 200 glasses, 24 small plates, 2 serving trays, 2 jugs, and 6 water bottles.

Appreciating the gesture, the Collector said that, through the Steel Bank, the use of single-use plastic items can be avoided in all functions held in the village.  She further appealed to all GPs in the district to replicate the same to reduce plastic pollution and work towards making their villages plastic-free.

Earlier, another GP Deshmukhi in Pochampalli Mandal had established a similar steel bank.  The District Collector also appreciated the efforts of Sri M. Upendar Reddy, DRDO, and SBM-G district consultants Mr. Murali, and Mr. Nagababu for this initiative. She reiterated that through the establishment of steel banks in the villages, the GPs were following the 4R principle of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle which would lead to a reduction in plastic pollution in rural areas. 

Plastic products have become an integral part of everyday lives, resulting in increased plastic consumption.  Plastic waste has also emerged as an important environmental challenge in the rural parts of the country. Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) Phase-II strives to improve rural cleanliness through Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities. Plastic waste management has been made a critical criterion for declaring villages ODF Plus.

To control plastic pollution, the Centre has imposed a ban on certain Single Use Plastic items and the Telangana Government has issued a similar notification with the State Pollution control board issuing instructions to curb the use of single-use plastics in the state.   It is therefore imperative for Gram Panchayats to adopt the 4R (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) principle which plays a vital role to curb the plastic menace in society.

Inputs:  A. Shyam Kumar, State IEC Consultant, SBM(G), Telangana

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