Taking another step towards a 100 per cent ban on plastic carry bags in Mumbai, civic group leaders have decided to make a formal proposal to the state government.
The group leaders in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) made this announcement on Saturday after a debate on a complete ban on plastic carry bags proposed by Mayor Shraddha Jadhav.
Hindustan Times had on December 27 reported that the BMC was planning to impose a 100 per cent ban on plastic carry bags.
“We will table a notice of motion suggesting a 100 per cent ban on plastic bags in the general body meeting and will send it to the state government to make necessary changes in the law to accommodate the proposed ban,” said Jadhav.
The mayor also said that she would also write to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
“We will also suggest to the state to ban thermocol, metallic plastic and tetra packs as they are equally hazardous to the environment and can’t be recycled,” said Shiv Sena leader Sunil Prabhu.
According to statistics available with the BMC, Mumbai generates at least 8,000 metric tonnes of garbage every day. Four per cent of this garbage comprises plastic.
The municipal corporation, meanwhile, wants to strictly implement the existing ban on plastic carry bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns.
Plastic bags that are thinner than 50 microns had been banned after the July 26, 2005 deluge because they were considered to be one of the main reasons for the choking of drains, which could have carried the rainwater and averted the floods.
The civic body has now decided to strictly implement the existing ban in Dadar, Sion and Matunga, to begin with.
“We want to focus on one ward for 15 days and also want to sensitise the public against use of plastic,” said Jadhav. “We will adopt the Vile Parle model.”
Residents and vendors in Vile Parle successfully banned plastic carry bags eight months ago. Shoppers in the area use only cloth or paper bags.
Two flying squads with 12 members each are responsible for implementing the ban.
Between April 2008 and October 2009 the authorities seized plastic bags below 50 microns weighing 19,400 kilograms. The authorities have also collected a penalty of Rs 98 lakh.
The BMC will also ask the state government to send to the mayor a copy of the report on action taken on the ban and table it in the general body meeting.
The action-taken report is sent to the Centre every three months.