Almost 6% of the city’s daily solid waste is plastic litter, say civic officials.
“The BMC doesn't have enough facilities to manage large amounts of plastic waste. We often rely on companies and non-profits,” said Seema Redkar, officer on special duty at the solid waste management department of the BMC.
The state government has more stringent plastic norms than the Centre. Under the Maharashtra Plastic Carry Bags (manufacture and usage) Rules, 2006, use of plastic bags less than 50 microns thick is banned (the centre's minimum specification is 40 microns). “The state government has also drafted rules to fix final responsibility on the manufactures for violation of use of plastic,” said DT Devale, senior law officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.
“General stores and hawkers are the biggest violators of plastic rules,” said R Nandanwar, chief inspector, shops and establishments department, BMC. “We have 45 shop inspectors to check for violations.”
But environmentalists say citizen initiative is the way to go. “Segregation of solid waste in homes is a must,” said Geetanjali Deshmukh, scientist, Central Institute of Fisheries Education.