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[greenyes] Mumbai says no to plastic bags

The Pioneer
25th August 2005
Mumbai says no to plastic bags
TN Raghunatha ? Mumbai

Learning a lesson from the July 26 cloudburst and the
subsequent floods in Mumbai, the Maharashtra
Government has decided to ban the use of plastic sachets
and bags in the entire State.

The development comes as a consequence of realization
by the authorities that indiscriminate use and dumping of
plastic bags by people contributed to the choking of
drainage lines and rivers that led to unprecedented floods
in the metropolis last month. There has also been a
clamour from the citizens groups and NGOs that the use of
plastic bags be banned in the State.

However, plastic bottles have been exempted from the
purview of ban. Before notifying the date of start of
implementation of the ban, the State Government will seek
objections and suggestions, if any, against or for the move
from the citizens during the next 30 days. As Chief Minister
Vilasrao Deshmukh himself said here on Wednesday, The
Government is seeking objections from the citizens to
ensure against any litigation in future.

Under similar circumstances, the State Government had, in
the past, banned the use and manufacture of plastic bags
of the thickness more than 20 microns, but the move had
not worked ? a fact that the Chief Minister himself admitted
at this post-cabinet meet briefing. To a question, Mr.
Deshmukh said that the ban, this time around, applied to
plastic bags irrespective of their thickness.

In another clarification, the Chief Minister said that there
would not be any ban on the manufacture of plastic bags.
?People are free to manufacture plastic bags in the state
and sell it other states. But they would not be allowed to
sell their goods in the state,? he said.

Under the proposed ban, traders, shopkeepers and
hawkers found using plastic bags would be imposed a
minimum of Rs. 5,000 fine each, depending on the stock
size of plastic bags in his possession. After two such
offenses, the erring persons would be arrested and
imposed hefty fine from the third occasion onwards.

Similarly, individual citizens found using plastic bags would
be fined Rs.1,000 each. The State Government would
authorize the administrative heads of civic bodies in urban
areas and chief officers of Zila Parishads in rural areas, Mr.
Deshmukh said.


"Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall.
He will end by destroying the earth."

Albert Schweitzer

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