Bhubaneswar: The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has unveiled a proactive strategy to combat single-use plastic pollution in the state as it will install cloth bag vending machines in five major cities, reports said.
“We intend to launch cloth bag vending machines as a pilot project in five prominent cities across the state. This initiative will allow us to assess the public’s response and address any challenges they encounter while using these machines. Based on our findings, we will make a final decision on expanding the deployment of these machines at various locations, including markets, shopping complexes, bus stops, and other public areas throughout the state,” said K Murugesan, member secretary of OSPCB.
In a bid to support local communities, OSPCB is considering engagement of women self-help groups affiliated with Mission Shakti in the production of these reusable cloth bags, potentially creating livelihood opportunities.
The five cities selected for the initial installation of the vending machines are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, and Rourkela. These machines will offer users the option to purchase affordable and eco-friendly cloth bags.
“The pollution control board has submitted a project proposal to the state government, and we are awaiting the green light for the pilot program. Ensuring the proper placement and security of the vending machines, along with raising public awareness about their use, are crucial aspects to consider before expanding their presence in our cities. Our plan includes placing these machines in shopping malls and bustling marketplaces,” he said.