Mumbai civic body has seized 84,361 kg of banned plastic bags in 10 years

This year, it has seized only 269kg of plastic bags.

mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2017 00:45 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times

The amount of plastic bags seized by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has drastically reduced in the past 10 years.

Ten years ago, the BMC confiscated 31,229kg of plastic bags after raiding shops and establishments.

This year, it has seized only 269kg plastic bags.

With the state government considering banning the use of plastic water bottles in government offices and hotels, the BMC figures show that the city is striving to be plastic-free.

Although the BMC figures show a 30,000kg reduction in plastic bag seizures, activists say that the BMC is not doing enough.

“In the weekly cleaning drive, around 400kg of plastic is generated from Aarey alone. I have made several complaints to shops and establishment department of the BMC on the usage of plastic but no action has been initiated,” said activist Subhash Rane, a resident of Goregaon.

Civic officials have been raiding shops since 2008. In the past 10 years, the BMC has seized 84,361kg of plastic, most of which are plastic bags, and the number of cases has decreased.

Rane refuted the BMC claim, saying, “Shops give plastic bags for free which has increased its usage. Every day, Mumbai generates more than 9, 000 metric tonnes of garbage, which includes a huge amount of plastic. Plastic had clogged drains in the city, leading to a deluge in 2005.”

According to the BMC records, the number of cases has decreased from 24,320 seizures and fines in 2008 to 497 cases in 2017. The fines collected by the shop and establishment department in 10 years is Rs5.66 crore.

The administrations seized 269 kgs of plastic in 407 raids till August this year and collected Rs20.35 lakh fines.

A senior civic official from shops and establishment department claimed that the awareness among shop owners has increased because of which the number of cases have decreased.

He said, “Citizens are aware about the disadvantages of using plastic and this has led to reduction in the usage. Maximum cases at 74,425 were registered in 2009 which has drastically reduced this year.”

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 00:45 IST