The plastic problem, and some solutions

BMC collects 137 tonnes of plastic

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected 137 tonnes of plastic after the State government imposed a ban in March.

The State has curtailed the use of several plastic items and directed all civic bodies to take measures to implement the ban. Since the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) notification was issued on March 23, the BMC has collected 137 tonnes of plastic.

The notification has banned plastic products such as cutlery, single-use containers and straws. A minimum penalty of ₹5,000 will be imposed on those who use the banned items. The State has given people time till June 23 to dispose of the items.

To collect plastic, the BMC has placed bins and installed bottle crushing machines in the city. On May 2, the BMC also started a helpline 1800222357, which can contacted between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. by people who have accumulated plastic or thermocol up to 10 kg. Housing societies with a large amount of plastic waste can call the helpline and have the trash collected. The helpline has received only 170 calls so far.

The plastic collected so far includes 125 tonnes from vans that pick up dry waste, and 12,400 kg from the bins. H West ward in Bandra collected 29,000 kg of banned plastic, while D ward comprising Tardeo and Malabar Hill picked up 19,000 kg of plastic. The plastic was picked up by garbage vans during routine waste collection in housing societies.

The amount of plastic collected from bins was much lesser. Around 8809 kg was picked up from Andheri West, 1,010 kg from Bandra West and 466 kg from Kurla.

“The response to the plastic bins is increasing, but there is need for more awareness. People need a little more push in this direction. Hopefully, it will happen before the penal provisions come in,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward and nodal officer for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

However, Godfrey Pimenta, a civic rights activist, said, “The ban is not working simply because there is no fear of law. We are still noticing the banned items strewn everywhere: be it parks, rivers, nullahs and railway tracks. Unless there is exemplary punishment, things are not going to change.”

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Printable version | Oct 12, 2021 6:48:32 AM |

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