Pune: While making a U-turn on the plastic ban, it seems that the civic body has suspended its drive against those selling plastic carry bags and thermocol. Interestingly, on the very first day, i.e. on Gudhi Padwa which was celebrated on March 18, the civic body had collected a truckload of material consisting of plastic bags and items of thermocol. It has been revealed that however due to increasing opposition from shopkeepers, the civic body had suspended its drive simply stating that it is yet to receive official government order on this matter.
While speaking to Sakal Times, Suresh Jagtap, Head of Solid Waste Department of PMC, said, "Plastic manufacturing association has informed us that on January 2, 2018, the government had issued any notification on banning plastic carry bags and things made by thermocol or plastic including plates, cups, glass etc. The association has filed a case against the State government in Mumbai High Court and the court has given a stay order. Hence, in this case, the corporation does not have right to take action against them. Therefore, we have suspended the drive. We had collected a truck of material from various parts of the city on Gudhi Padwa."
He further said, "We have to keep the seized material in our custody. We cannot destroy it till State government officials issue notification. We have seized material from 15 ward offices areas."
Ravi Jashnani, President of Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association said, "Before approving the plastic ban in Maharashtra, State cabinet had called for suggestion and objection, any civic body cannot enforce the plastic ban in the State. Till date, the State government has not issued any final notification."
Jashnani further said, "The State government has filed an affidavit on March 7, 2018 and they mentioned that the order dated January 2 was issued only to instruct the planning authority about the plastic ban."
Meanwhile, on January 2, the Maharashtra government issued a notification on banning plastic carry bags and things made by thermocol or plastic including plates, cups, glass, spoons, flexes, non-woven polypropylene bags banners, decorative items, flags, plastic sheets along with its production, use, storage, distribution and sale. Plastic is already banned in five states including Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, but due to poor implementation, the ban has failed to achieve desired results.
The city generates 1,600 tonnes of garbage daily. Of this, the share of plastic is around 12 per cent. It increases during the festive seasons and reaches 15 per cent. Plastic waste contains milk bags, oil bags, food bags, yogurt containers, plastic glasses, cooking oil canisters, laminate tubes (toothpaste, medicines), carry bags (all micron thickness), blister packing, bubble wrap, shampoo/powder bottles, empty sachets, detergent bags, food item bags, wrappers, cassettes, CD covers, plastic flowers and buckets.
Plastic carry bags and thermocol products are 2.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent component of garbage respectively. The quantity is growing day by day as the population is increasing. Processing all this garbage is a major problem due to non-availability of landfill sites.