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Carry plastic bag, pay green tax

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2010 01:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to introduce a 'green tax' for plastic carry bags and plastic bottle manufacturers in the city.

Following the footsteps of Himachal Pradesh which has successfully implemented a blanket ban on plastic carry bags, the civic body will also introduce a fine up to Rs 100 for consumers who use plastic carry bags which have a thickness below 50 microns.

The amount of 'green tax' that will be levied has not been mentioned in the proposal. "That will be decided by the state government as it will be sent to them for final approval after once cleared by the civic body," said a civic official on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The green cess is aimed at discouraging use of plastic, both at the manufacturer and consumer level.

The civic body's proposal to impose a green tax on plastic carry bags and packaged drinking water manufacturers will be tabled before the civic general body meeting in a week.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said that the markets department was all set to declare the 103 civic markets as plastic free zones on March 8.

Mhaiskar said: "We have got immense support from the vendors in the market since we first launched the anti plastic campaign on January 26 .We have also provided them with alternative bags."

The blue print of the proposal is based on the measures adopted by various states that have successfully implemented a blanket ban on plastic.

Himachal Pradesh imposes the green tax on vehicle users in the state to generate revenue to undertake projects to compensate for the damage caused to the environment by carbon dioxide emissions.

There is a 100 per cent ban on plastic bags in states such as Sikkim and Kerala. Recently a similar decision was announced by the Pune Municipal Corporation.

For the first time, the civic body has proposed to increase the fine amount from Rs 10 to Rs 100 for using banned plastic carry bags (below 50 micron thickness).

The proposal also said that recycled carry bags should be totally banned.

The administration has suggested that the thickness and size restrictions on the carry bags should be increased step by step from 50 microns to 100 microns and the size from 8 by 12 inches to 12 by 18 inches.

Currently there is a ban on plastic bags thinner than 50 microns as they were considered one of the main reasons for choking the drains and causing the the 2005 deluge.