Mumbai: Though the State Government partially lifted the single-use plastic ban two weeks ago, BMC warehouses are brimful with 4,000kg material seized in earlier raids. The civic body has therefore invited tenders to upcycle this imperishable stuff into street furniture like benches, tables and garbage bins. They also plan to make pencil boxes out of it.
The BMC revived the drive against banned plastic on July 1 after over two years of Covid-19 restrictions. Ward-wise teams were formed to inspect markets, shops and establishments, with officials from the licence department seizing banned plastic and penalising violators. For every violation, a penalty of Rs5,000 to Rs25,000 was imposed. The seized plastic was then dumped in BMC warehouses.
In these past months, civic teams collected around 4,000kg of material and realised a fine of Rs35.95 lakh till November; 719 violators have faced the music so far.
Meanwhile, the government has now allowed the use, storage, trade, distribution and transportation of all single-use disposable items, including spoons, straws, plates, cups, glasses, forks, and containers made from compostable material.
Three years ago, Project Mumbai, a non-profit organisation started collecting plastic from housing societies and upcycling it into benches, pencil boxes and garbage bins. Some benches are installed in around 50 civic gardens and even civic-run schools, while pencil boxes were distributed to students studying in BMC schools. Now, the BMC’s Solid Waste Management Department was also in talk with NGOs for similar projects.
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