Mumbai: Retail shop owners claim they’re exempted from the plastic ban

Mumbai: With the deadline of the plastic ban closing in, retail shop owners and retail traders association have claimed that the state government-imposed plastic ban will not be applicable on them. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will start taking punitive action and fine of Rs 5,000 against plastic offenders from June 24 for which the civic body has authorised over 200 personnel across the city.

A retail traders’ association in the city has said that the state has exempted them from the ban over use plastic as a protective material for expensive goods for delivery, if the goods have been packaged that way by the manufacturer. Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), members of which had written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, had asked the government to relax rules for retail shop owners to allow for the use of protective plastic cover for food, clothes, and electronic items for delivery.

“It is good to know that we can continue to use plastic, it is a big relief, although we support the plastic ban. However, the government has still not provided a durable alternative for plastic in the long run,” said Viren Shah, president, FRTWA, adding that there was no alternative to plastic as far as protecting goods from rain was concerned.

A government notification on March 23 mandated a complete ban on manufacturing, storing, transporting, distributing etc, and use of plastic bags, disposable items made of plastic and thermocol, plastic wrappers, and certain plastic packaging material.  But citizens, manufacturers and all the other parties were given an additional three months to switch from plastic to other alternative eco-friendly sources.

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