Maharashtra government directs plastic manufacturers to buy back plastic, recycle it

Apr 10, 2018, 07:13 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

To ensure correct disposal and processing, government notification directs manufacturers to buy back plastic waste and recycle it

Manufacturers will be asked to recycle existing plastic waste, say officials. Representation pic
Manufacturers will be asked to recycle existing plastic waste, say officials. Representation pic

Manufacturers of plastic goods who have been allowed to continue producing their items, after stricter implementation of the ban last month, will now have to ensure their proper recycling as well. The government wants to ensure correct disposal and processing of plastic that is in use and will soon be issuing instructions on how manufacturers registered with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) should recycle plastic waste.

The government notification states that all those allowed to produce plastic will have to buy back the waste and recycle it. The notification adds that local bodies should arrange the collection and transportation of banned plastic items or waste from existing stock for recycling/scientific disposal to authorised recyclers or industries within a month.

Recycling woes
Civic officials said recycling and disposal of existing plastic waste will be a bigger task, as there were just four registered recyclers with no presence in Mumbai. A senior civic official, said, "We will be writing to the MPCB to either increase the number of registered recyclers or to provide us with an alternative. The four recyclers registered are based in Pune, Nanded and Nashik districts."

Additional Chief Secretary of environment department Satish Gavai, however, said that not just the registered recyclers, but even the manufacturers allowed to produce plastic will be asked to participate in recycling of existing waste in the city. "We have mentioned that manufacturers will have to recycle the plastic that is produced henceforth. But there is a huge volume that still exists... We will ask the manufacturers to recycle the existing stock as well," he added.

Taking stock
Meanwhile, the civic body is struggling to get citizens to give up on their stocked plastic bags and items. It installed collection bins at public places and municipal markets a week ago, but has received a negligible quantity so far. It plans to begin an awareness campaign by roping in celebrities to talk about the disadvantages and hazards of plastic.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner (SWM) Kiran Dighavkar said, "A negligible amount of plastic has been collected since we set up the collection bins a few days ago. We will take stock of the situation in another fortnight and start awareness campaigns to urge people to give up the plastic they have been using, explaining to them the problems it causes, especially to the environment."

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC acted against us on plastic ban, say shopkeepers

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