MON­ICA WALUJKAR

Citadel - - PUNEITES SPEAK -

Ju­nior En­gi­neer, Solid Waste Man­age­ment, PMC

The blan­ket ban on plas­tic by the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment is def­i­nitely wel­comed by the cit­i­zens of 3une, but it still has a long way to go. The 3MC has a huge task ahead of im­ple­ment­ing sev­eral changes and one be­ing aware­ness among the res­i­dents. They must un­der­stand that change takes place with each and ev­ery in­di­vid­ual mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to ban plas­tic from their lives. There are ven­dors who are still sell­ing their prod­ucts by us­ing plas­tic bags. This must stop as us­age of th­ese carry bags leads to pol­lu­tion on a large scale. The peo­ple must be­come more aware of other al­ter­na­tives. They must find other in­dige­nous ways to dis­pose off the daily garbage by mak­ing pa­per bags at home. Apart from the con­fu­sion over rules and un­war­ranted puni­tive ac­tions, lack of af­ford­able al­ter­na­tives is also hurt­ing the prospects of suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ban. The gov­ern­ment has been urg­ing con­sumers to switch to cloth bags. Con­sumers, pro­duc­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and the cit­i­zens are ha­bit­u­ally us­ing plas­tic in daily life. Change in con­sumer habits is also fac­tors af­fect­ing the ban. Chang­ing their be­hav­iour is a long process and re­quires ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness. Job losses from the ban and in­for­mal sec­tor in­volve­ment in the par­tic­u­lar busi­ness play a sig­nif­i­cant role. This leads to cre­at­ing not only con­fu­sion, but also fear about mob se­cu­rity and in­come re­duc­tion through the sale of scrap. While re­tail­ers across the megapo­lis have said heavy fines for vi­o­lat­ing the ban will make them fi­nan­cially un­vi­able and force them to turn away many cus­tomers, con­sumers have com­plained of in­con­ve­nience and won­dered whether the ban makes any sense.

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