SURESH JAG­TAP

Citadel - - PUNEITES SPEAK -

Joint Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sioner, PMC

On March 23, Ma­ha­rash­tra be­came the first in the coun­try to im­pose a blan­ket ban not only on plas­tic carry bags, but also ther­mo­col and multi layer pack­ag­ing. The state an­nounced a ban on man­u­fac­ture, use, sale, dis­tri­bu­tion and stor­age of plas­tic ma­te­ri­als such as one time use bags, spoons, plates, 3 T and 3 T bot­tles and ther­mo­col items. The gov­ern­ment had given three months time to dis­pose of the ex­ist­ing stocks, which ended on June 23. On April 11, the gov­ern­ment is­sued a sec­ond no­ti­fi­ca­tion, ex­tend­ing the time to dis­pose of plas­tics till June 23, ex­empt­ing 3 T bot­tles and ask­ing traders to buy back the used ones. It also di­rected man­u­fac­tur­ers to print the buy­back mech­a­nism on the bot­tle la­bel. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion is, how­ever, silent on how traders could reach the re­cy­clers. Cer­tainly ban on use of plas­tic and ther­mo­col has helped the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion, since the dis­posal of such items due to es­tab­lish­ing col­lec­tion mech­a­nism and pro­cess­ing has been a chal­lenge. ince it is low value ma­te­rial, sea­sonal vari­a­tion in the mar­ket has re­sulted in spread­ing plas­tic across the city. eg­li­gence of users re­sults into dump­ing and pro­lif­er­a­tion of plas­tic and thereby clog­ging of drainage sys­tems. overn­ment has taken sev­eral meet­ings, com­mu­ni­ca­tions about the plas­tic and ther­mo­col ban, how­ever chang­ing the habits of the peo­ple in a short while is very dif­fi­cult. I feel ev­ery ci­ti­zen is re­spon­si­ble for avoid­ing the us­age of plas­tic, thereby not only help­ing him­self but also the en­vi­ron­ment. It will take time and ef­fort to change the mind­set of the peo­ple who have been ac­cus­tomed to us­ing plas­tic for many years. owever, the plas­tic ban is here to stay.

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