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Mumbaiites discard 121 tonnes of banned plastic in 2 months

Around 17 tonnes were collected from Andheri (west), the highest from any one area.

mumbai Updated: May 25, 2018 15:04 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,plastic ban,121 tonnes of banned plastic collected
The 20 sqft plastic collection bins have a capacity of about 500 kg each.(HT File Photo)

Mumbaiites have thrown away around 121 tonnes, or 1.2 lakh kg, of banned plastic items over the past two months, said the civic body, which has been collecting them from its special bins placed at 60 locations across the city.

Call and get rid of plastic
  • Call BMC toll-free number 1800-222-357 for a free plastic pick-up service to housing societies that have collected a minimum of 10 kg of banned items.

Data with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows that close to 17 tonnes were collected from Andheri (west), the highest from one area, followed by Byculla from where 14 tonnes was collected. Only around 30 kg of plastic was disposed of in Govandi, which has a high cncentration of slums.

The move follows the state government’s ban on plastic items such as sheets, pouches, thermocol cutlery, among other things. Of the 121 tonnes, 109 tonnes were picked up from housing societies and have been sent to segregation centres.

About the plastic ban
  • With the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) Notification, 2018, issued on March 23, the government banned manufacture, usage, storage, distribution, wholesale or retail sale, import and transportation of all kinds of plastic bags (with or without handle), single use disposable items made of plastic and thermocol — dish, cups, plates, glasses, fork, bowls, forks, spoons, straw, containers, non-woven polypropylene bags, pouches to store liquid, plastic to wrap or store products and packaging of food items, across the state.
  • It also declared a fine of Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 respectively for first and second time offence. A third-time offender will be fined Rs25,000 and get three months’ imprisonment.
  • The state then decided to give an extension of two months to people for disposing of banned plastic items, so authorities will not start punitive action till June 23.

Earlier this month, the BMC started a toll-free helpline (1800-222-357) to provide information to citizens who want to dispose plasticitems, as well as to offer a free plastic pick-up service to housing societies that have collected a minimum of 10 kg of banned items.

Only 140 people have called the helpline so far in the past three weeks, of which 59 requested pick-up service from their societies, said a civic official. “The remaining 12 tonnes were collected from markets and shopping areas,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner and nodal officer for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

The discarded plastic items will be handed over to authorised recyclers after a buffer period, Dighavkar said.

With less than one month left for the state government to enforce the ban and impose penalties on users and manufacturers, the BMC is yet to upgrade its awareness campaign and remind citizens of the deadline, which is June 23.

First Published: May 25, 2018 15:04 IST