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[2/12, 07:23] Sekarreporter: HC asks govt. to eradicate polythene bags outside places of worship: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-asks-govt-to-eradicate-polythene-bags-outside-places-of-worship/article30796095.ece [2/12, 07:23] Sekarreporter: ‘Vendors could be encouraged to sell goods in reusable baskets’ The Madras High Court on Tuesday impressed upon the need to eradicate use of polythene bags by vendors outside temples, churches and dargahs. The court suggested that traders should be sensitised to the harmful effects of plastic and encouraged to sell their goods in reusable handwoven baskets. Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha gave the suggestion to Additional Advocate General (AAG) P.H. Arvindh Pandian, who assured the court that he would take earnest steps to get a circular issued, at the earliest, to the executive officers of all temples under the control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department. [2/12, 07:23] Sekarreporter: On January 8, the Bench directed the State government to list the steps taken by it to implement a complete ban on all kinds of plastic products and not just single-use plastics. It also wanted government officials to act tough against all those who were continuing to use the already banned ‘use and throw’ plastic products. 2018 Govt. order The directions were issued during the hearing of a batch of cases filed against a 2018 Government Order aimed at banning single-use plastics in the State from January 1, 2019. After upholding the validity of the GO, the judges opined that even products exempted under the GO should be banned to make the State completely plastic-free. However, when the AAG on Tuesday expressed certain personal inconvenience in not being able to file a report in the court regarding the complete ban on plastic products and sought four more weeks’ time, the judges accepted his submission and directed the Registry to list the case for March 3 for filing of a report by the government. During the course of hearing, the judges expressed concern over the use of polythene bags outside places of worship. Justice Vaidyanthan said Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials should conduct surprise inspections outside temples to find out large-scale prevalence of the banned polythene bags used to carry puja articles. Justice Asha said even during events such as a marathons conducted at the Elliott’s beach in Besant Nagar and other places, it had become a common practice to litter the roads with plastic bottles and cups. She suggested that organisers be asked to arrange water cans, along with dust bins, at regular intervals to address the menace.