Lens on 12 firms for sell­ing ‘biodegrad­able’ plas­tic bags

BMC Set To Act Against Those Still Us­ing Items

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Vi­[email protected]­group.com

Mum­bai: BMC has is­sued a di­rec­tive ask­ing its of­fi­cials to act against those us­ing banned plas­tic bags on the false pre­text that these are biodegrad­able and hence al­lowed by the gov­ern­ment. The di­rec­tive fol­lows an alert is­sued by the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB), which is un­der the purview of the Union en­vi­ron­ment min­istry, that the lie is be­ing per­pet­u­ated by 12 com­pa­nies in dif­fer­ent part of the coun­try, in­clud­ing in Mum­bai.

Civic of­fi­cials said ac­tion is reg­u­larly taken against peo­ple vi­o­lat­ing the plas­tic ban, but some com­pa­nies have been get­ting away by mis­lead­ing shop­keep­ers into be­liev­ing that plas­tic bags be­ing sold to them are cer­ti­fied by the pol­lu­tion con­trol board.

Whole­salers and re­tail­ers of gro­ceries and grain prod­ucts are al­lowed to sell prod­ucts in sealed plas­tic Such man­u­fac­tur­ers in fact stamp the plas­tic carry bags they pro­duce with a seal of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion declar­ing their ‘biodegrad­able’ sta­tus, said an of­fi­cer. The CPCB’s no­ti­fi­ca­tion stated that the board had not au­tho­rized any of the 12 com­pa­nies to use such a cer­tifi­cate.

In Novem­ber, TOI re­ported that while BMC had taken ini­tia­tives to en­force the plas­tic ban, a new va­ri­ety of plas­tic bags had en­tered the mar­ket. It was found that sev­eral shops and even veg­etable ven­dors across the city were hand­ing out thick plas­tic bags with­out han­dles to cus­tomers. Many were claim­ing that such bags were al­lowed de­spite the plas­tic ban. It turned out that they were merely mis­us­ing a loop­hole in the law: an ex­emp­tion for us­ing plas­tics bags with­out han­dle for re­tail pack­ag­ing. Now, af­ter the pol­lu­tion con­trol board’s no­tice, BMC has de­cided to in­ten­sify its slow-mov­ing drive, tar­get­ing those who are us­ing such carry bags.

As­sis­tant mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Ki­ran Dighavkar, the nodal of­fi­cer for cre­at­ing aware­ness about the plas­tic ban, said BMC has started act­ing against man­u­fac­tur­ers of banned plas­tic un­der false claims.

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