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.