Plastic bag use takes a big plunge

Mumbai The civic body has recorded a drop in the number of plastic bags, less than 50 microns thick, seized in the past six months. “There is an over 70 per cent drop in the cases of plastic bags seized by the 27 squads of the BMC. Since January the number of cases has come down drastically,” said deputy municipal commissioner R B Bhosale. In January 2,873 cases were recorded. The number dipped to 940 in May and reached 624 in June. This year the civic body has penalised 7,979 for using plastic bags thinner than 50 microns. The BMC has collected over Rs 32 lakh as fine. In June Rs 2.82 lakh was collected, Bhosale said.

“The drop seems to have taken place as there is more awareness and alertness among shopkeepers and hawkers,” said Bhosale. Stringent action against offenders is also a reason for the drop, he added.

The BMC has one squad in each ward and three other special squads across the city for penalising those who use plastic bags below 50 microns. In January leaders of all parties in the BMC had decided to make a formal proposal to the state government for a complete ban on plastic bags in Mumbai.

“We had written to the state government regarding 100 per cent ban on plastic bags but the proposal is still pending,” said Shiv Sena leader in the BMC Sunil Prabhu. Plastic bags thinner than 50 microns were banned after the July 26, 2005, deluge as they were considered one of the main reasons for choking drains.

Sharvari Patwa – Express India

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