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Mumbai collects Rs 3.5 lakh in fines over plastic ban, faces protests

The BMC’s focus has been on retailers with shops and stores facing penalties for storing and using plastic.

mumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2018 11:51 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai plastic ban,Mumbai retailers,Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
People carry containers at a fish market as Maharashtra government has banned the use of plastic bags, in Mumbai on Sunday, June 24, 2018.(PTI )

The retailer’s association in Mumbai has threatened to go on a strike from Wednesday against the plastic ban if their demands for postponing the ban till the end of the monsoon and allowing buyback on plastic are not met by Tuesday.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started implementation of the ban from Saturday. The civic body’s focus so far has been on retailers with shops and stores facing penalties for storing and using plastic. Till Sunday, the BMC has fined around 87 shops, collecting fines over Rs 3.5 lakh.

Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said, “We have got news of huge loses to the retailers especially the grocery stores and sweet shops, which necessarily need plastic to not just sell but also store the products in plastic bags. They need these especially during monsoon to stop the products like farsan and sweets, from becoming moist. Most shops were shut due to the fear of Inspector Raj and penalties.”

Shah said the association would like the government to postpone the ban till post monsoon. He also said that just like milk packets and dairy products, even grocery stores should be given the permission to buy back the plastic packaging from the public.

“We had written letters to the government stating all grocery stores would buy back the recyclable plastic from the customers at Rs 2 but these suggestions were not taken. We will now conduct a meeting with all retailers to analyse the losses till date on Tuesday and if the government does not consider our suggestions by Wednesday then we would declare a state-wide protest.” He questioned that if branded products, which come in multi-layered plastic, are allowed, then why not recyclable plastic at local grocery stores.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 11:06 IST