Mumbai: Get set to shell out up to Rs 100 for carrying plastic bags

MUMBAI: The state has, in its final changes proposed for the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Ordinance, 2006, recommended a penalty on citizens found using plastic carry bags below 50 microns.

In a meeting on Thursday, it was decided that a fine ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 100 would be imposed on anyone found carrying plastic bags of thickness less than 50 microns.

Secretary of state environment department Valsa Nair Singh said rules would be modified as per suggestions and objections received from citizens and experts. “We are going to put them up on our websites and anyone can log on to it. A final decision on the amendments will be taken only after that,” she said.

The proposal to penalise end-users was forwarded by the BMC, which is contrary to what the political leadership has been propagating. They had proposed a fine of Rs 5 to Rs 10 on the end-user. But the amount was raised during a discussion. “This is a necessary change we have been recommending. We propose that suitable modifications be made in the existing laws to make consumers responsible and help in curbing the use of plastic bags,” said a civic official.

Another important change suggested that shopkeepers can also charge a customer money if they want plastic carry bags. The state has also suggested errant manufacturers be prosecuted. “Litigation will act as a deterrent against those who produce unauthorised bags,” said Singh. First-time offenders are fined Rs 5,000 and second-time offenders Rs 10,000. Third-time offenders are fined Rs 25,000 and can be sentenced to three months’ jail.

From TOI

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