Mumbai : The BMC plans to recycle the seized plastics will soon be a reality. Currently, the civic body will start centres in five administrative wards to collect plastics from citizens. Around 5,285 kg of seized plastic is already lying in the civic warehouse. The collected plastic will be handed over to NGOs to convert it into benches, dustbins etc.
The BMC will begin strict action against banned plastic from August 21. The officers of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and police constables will also accompany civic officials during raids on hawkers, shops, malls. There will be a five-member squad in each ward taking action against plastic. Along with this, the BMC will start centres for collection where citizens can deposit plastic which they otherwise throw in waste or roads.
NGOs to Raise Awareness for Plastic Recycling
Several NGOs will play a role in raising awareness about plastic recycling and the drawbacks of plastic usage among citizens, as revealed by a senior civic official. The BMC has engaged in discussions with multiple NGOs regarding the recycling of waste. If the response from the collection centers is positive, the civic body plans to entrust both the collected and seized plastic to an NGO for recycling.
Notably, 'Project Mumbai', a non-profit organization, had initiated a plastic recycling campaign four years ago, which resulted in the creation of benches, pencil boxes, and even garbage bins from collected plastic. Some of these plastic benches are now installed in approximately 50 civic gardens and civic-run schools, while the pencil boxes are distributed to students enrolled in BMC schools.
BMC's Renewed Campaign Against Banned Plastic
The BMC reinvigorated its campaign against banned plastic on July 1, 2022. Ward-specific teams from the markets, shops & establishments, and licensed departments are assigned the task of visiting shops within their designated areas to seize prohibited plastic. In cases where shopkeepers use banned plastic, fines ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹25,000 are imposed per violation. The confiscated plastic is then stored in the civic warehouse. Over the past year, the BMC has conducted 1,586 raids, seizing a total of 5,285 kilograms of plastic, and collected ₹79 lakh in penalties.