Year after ban, Mumbai still not plastic-free

Published: Jun 21, 2019, 12:34 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The civic body says that the loss in momentum of the collection is because the use of plastic has reduced considerably

Year after ban, Mumbai still not plastic-free
Representational image

Mumbai seems to have lost the momentum of the state-wide plastic ban that was issued a year back by the Maharashtra government. Single-use plastic is back in action, civic bodies have still started to fine erroneous customers and BMC's blue squads which are supposed to raid shops have disappeared from the streets.

According to experts, the failure of the ban is because of poor coordination among civic officials and a lack of effective mechanisms. As per BMC, it has so far seized around 60,000kg plastic worth ₹3.39 crore. Of this, 28,000kg was seized in the first four months, while 32,000kg was seized in the following eight months.

The civic body says that the loss in momentum of the collection is because the use of plastic has reduced considerably. Hindustan Times quoted, "Usage of single-use plastic has been drastically reduced in the markers. This happened after we started taking strict action against offenders. Also, action on ground reduced because most of our staff was busy with the elections."

Also read: 'Why isn't plastic ban implemented effectively yet?'

Anand Wagralkar, the deputy municipal commissioner, said, "We have given instructions to our staff to expedite visits to shops, markets and other establishments to gain momentum. The action at the ward levels will be solidified from now on."

Many citizens are still confused about what types of plastic are banned. Viren Shah, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, said, "Most shop owners are clueless on which plastic to sell. It is difficult to tell the difference between a non-woven plastic [which is banned] and permitted plastic. Authorities have made no efforts to spread awareness, so small businesses are facing losses."

Also Read: Plastic ban: BMC's blue squad to get daily targets for action against violators of ban

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