Plastic Ban: Lack of alternatives cost Pune traders
Traders, including meat sellers, are forced to use paper, banana leaves for packagingUpdated: Jun 26, 2018 11:35 IST
With no proper alternatives for plastic, city traders have claimed that their businesses have been severely impacted with the strict implementation of the statewide plastic ban in the city from Saturday. However, apart from the small traders, the ban is giving fish and meat sellers a tough time.
◼ Disposable plastic items, like spoons, forks, cups and glasses
◼ Disposable thermocol items, like plates, glasses, bowls and containers
◼ Plastic wrap used for packaging or storing products
◼ Non-woven polypropylene bags
◼ Plastic pouches for storing liquid
◼ Plastic packaging for food items
◼ Plastic and thermocol decorations
◼ Small polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) bottles (0.5 litres)
◼ Packaging material for medicines, solid waste and agriculture sector
◼ Bags/sheets used in in-plant nurseries
◼ Food grade virgin plastic bags over 50 microns
◼ Milk pouches over 50 microns
◼ The plastic cover/plastic to wrap the material at the manufacturing stage
◼ Jute bags
◼ Cornstarch bags
◼ Paper pouches
◼ Cloth bags
◼ Wooden spoonsWhy manufacturers are upset?
1 Production stopped and industrial units shut overnight
2 Raw materials sent back; owners at loss
3 Excessive stock of manufactured items in godowns
4 Traders’ refusal to pay loans
5 Unpaid salaries of workersPENALTY FOR VIOLATION
Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 For first and second offences (designated officers in municipal corporations, police force and environment department can issue such fines)
Rs 25,000 and three-month jail For the third offence (the right rests with judicial magistrates)
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In urban areas:
◼ Municipal commissioners
◼ Deputy municipal commissioners
◼ Shops and establishment officers and inspectors
◼ Sanitary inspector
◼ Health inspector
◼ Ward officer
◼ Officers nominated by municipal commissioner and chief executive officer of municipal councilsIn rural areas:
◼ District collector
◼ Deputy collector
◼ Sub-divisional officer
◼ Talathi or officer nominated by district collector
◼ CEO of Zilla Parishad
◼ Block divisional officer
◼ Health officer
◼ Development officer
◼ District education officer
Narayan Chaudhary, a shopkeeper on NIBM road, said that grocery was being given in paper and cloth bags, while the meat sellers wrapped minced and normal meat in banana leafs and gave the customers. Restaurant and meat shop owners also insisted that customers bring their own containers from here on.
Fish sellers at Nana peth’s fish market said that they were giving fish wrapped in paper, but it was useless as after a while, water starts seeping through the paper.
“We want the government to give us alternatives as sales have been down by at least 50 per cent due to the plastic ban. Plastic containers and bags are ideal for carrying raw fish and meat, and till date, no alternative for them has been found or suggested by the government,” said Asha Pardeshi, a fish seller.
Meanwhile, Mithai, Farsan and Dairy Association, Pune, has called for a ‘band’ on June 25, to protest against the double standards of the government. The statement issued by the association said that they welcome the state government’s move of plastic ban which is being implemented in the larger interest towards environment protection. However, this has caused huge confusion and fear of legal action among the mithai (sweets) and dairy businesses.
The association raised concern about the lack of clarity in rules about the use of plastic. Arvind Budhani, secretary, Mithai, Farsan and Dairy Association, Pune, said that there is a huge confusion about the rules in the mithai and dairy segment. The government did not given any alternate solution while announcing the plastic ban, Budhani added.
He said that the ban was having an adverse impact on businesses. According to Budhani, the civic body’s action against the use of plastic in the city has been very aggressive. As of now, the association has decided to have a day-long ‘band’ to protest against the implementation of plastic ban in the city and has also threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the government does not take their grievances seriously.
Sachin Nivangune, president of Pune district retail traders’ association, said that the state government has not created the desired level of plastic ban awareness in the society. “We are with the government on this issue. However, while implementing the laws, adequate alternate measures need to be in place so that the traders are not wronged by the overzealous officers who want to implement the law, and at the same time, demonstrate high handedness in implementing them. In such cases, we will not pay the fine, and instead, face the court and await directions from the court to pay the money,” he said and added that the PMC has failed in creating public awareness about the plastic ban.