Mumbai : Mumbaikars will soon not be allowed to use plastic bags and bins used to keep waste in their houses. Usually, citizens use plastic dustbin and bags to ensure that the waste is collected at one place easily. However, following plastic ban across Maharashtra state soon the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Solid Waste Management (SWM) department to enforce Mumbaikars to junk polyethylene bags and plastic bins which they usually use to store their in-house garbage.

Vijay Balamwar, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC) of SWM said, “As the state has issued a notification which allows a blanket ban on all types plastic usage, unlike earlier which prohibits plastic below 50 microns and of 8×12 size. Therefore, now we will appeal people not to use the plastic bag and bins for garbage storage, we have three months time for it.”

Nikhil Desai, an activist of Matunga, remarked that the ban has been implemented hastily. “I don’t know where I will collect the garbage. Also, its not just citizens but also the BMC who uses bin and place bins at public places and gardens. Therefore, before citizens, they should find a solution.”

Further raising finger on the blanket ban decision Desai said, “Our politicians one fine day, on Gudi Padwa decided to ban all types of plastic without any thinking. However, as it has been decided now the authorities should create more awareness on what kind of plastic is acceptable and unacceptable. Also, in the one month grace period to dispose of plastic the authorities should not fine rather create awareness, as no one would prefer to give Rs 25,000 fine if found using plastic which is too much.”

Meanwhile, in one of the suburban market of Chembur, the shopkeepers and vendors have started selling goods and other items by wrapping in paper bags as thin polythene bags have been stopped. However, big plastic bags are still in usage largely.

Another vegetable vendor, Chetan Shah of Kalachowki, said, “We have stopped providing plastic bags to our customers as we do not want to face any action. Also, we are appealing to customers to get their own cloth bags. In case, if someone is not  carrying their own bag then we are wrapping the product or commodities in a paper.”

BMC yet to get notification from govt on new rule

Mumbai: The BMC is yet to receive notification from Maharashtra government on the new plastic ban rule and is in a state of confusion. It recently made amendments to the Solid Waste Management Act 2016 and the Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules 2006, which allows tha banning of all types of plastic, thermocol and other non-degradable material.

A BMC official, who did not wish to be named, stated that they hadn’t yet received official notification therefore, the guidelines that need to be adopted hadn’t been discussed. “Currently we can only take action as per old rules, which allows to seize plastic below 50 microns and of size 8×12. Also, if new rules are applied now and action taken then it will be illegal. Once the notification comes we will make a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or guidelines on what basis the action will be taken.”

The officer added, “The new rule will help to broaden the action as currently people who use plastic that is below 50 microns are being punished.”

According to civic data, BMC has collected Rs 4.80 lakh fine in last months of January and February from shopkeepers, hawkers, small retail outlets and other for using prohibited plastic.

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