If the idea mooted by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) gets through, the sight of empty water bottles thrown around at public places may become a passé.
The state-run corporation has proposed to install processing machines that reduce the bottles to flakes and can be used in recycling of plastic so that these bottles are not dumped at landfill sites or make their way to water bodies.
The first such machine is likely to be installed at Mantralaya, the state government’s headquarters.
The MTDC has sought permission from the state public works department for installation of the machine, sized equal to a refrigerator, at Mantralaya building citing huge disposal of the empty water bottles at the state headquarters.
The machine compresses the bottles to flakes, which is sold at Rs 40 a kg in the open market, re-used for various plastic items. The corporation has planned to install more such kiosks at bus stands and railway stations where the disposal of the empty packaged water bottles is very huge.
“We installed one such machine at Elephanta Caves about two months ago and the response is encouraging. The efforts not only help us in reducing pollution but also generate employment and help government authorities to keep the premises clean. Besides the sites owned by us, we are also approaching other government agencies for the installation. Being a highly non-biodegradable material, the bottles disposed recklessly cause pollution not only on land but in the water bodies. It is a serious concern for us,” said Parag Jain Nannutia, the MD of the MTDC.
He said they are also encouraging the sellers of the empty bottle to approach them with their stock, which will be bought at Rs 20 a kg. Roughly 50 bottles make up a kg.