With lack of awareness about the plastic ban imposed by the government and confusion prevailing about the items that are banned and those that are exempted, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to organise a ‘rath yatra’ or a march against plastic use across the city. The yatra will kick off on Maharashtra Day on Tuesday. There are less than two months to go before June 23, the date after which BMC will start taking punitive action against violators of the state-wide ban on plastic.Sangita Hasnale, assistant municipal commissioner (planning), said civic officials will carry out a march to spread awareness in the Western suburbs, Eastern suburbs and south Mumbai on May 1,2 and 3 respectively. “We want this rath yatra to continue for two months, during which citizens will get to know about the ban, the alternatives to plastic and how to obtain them. BMC and advanced locality management bodies (ALMs) will be working together to promote self-help groups (SHGs) and the eco-friendly products they manufacture over the next couple of months,” said Hasnale. After the state government issued a notification about a month ago and with less than two months left before implementing the state-wide ban on plastic items such as bags, plastic cutlery, thermocol and decoration items, the civic body is finally all set to go big on the awareness front. Citizens, manufacturers and traders have up to June 23 to dispose of all the banned plastic items before BMC starts taking punitive action against violators. HT had earlier reported that while plastic collection bins have been placed in civic markets and waste segregation centres, lack of awareness was one of the hurdles the civic body faced. Apart from undertaking the yatra and working with ALMs, the civic body plans to reach out to people through short films, advertisements in movie halls and street plays in each administrative ward. “Citizens have not responded well to plastic disposal bins. Bottle-crushing machines will soon be placed at 100 locations in the city,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner and BMC’s nodal officer for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Currently, plastic collection bins have been placed in 74 civic markets and 68 more are planned to be set up in the rest of the markets, said Hasnale.