The use of single-use plastic items may not have stopped completely in Pune city, but a survey by three city-based NGOs found that almost 61 per cent shops in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits have stopped using plastic carry bags below 50 microns.
The two civic bodies also jointly collected a fine amount of Rs 41,79,440, revealed replies to Right To Information (RTI) queries filed by The Indian Express, seeking details on the use of banned plastic in Pune.
The neighbouring Tamil Nadu government had in June 2018 announced that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019, to "gift a plastic-free state to future generations".
The state environment department, headed by Sena Minister Ramdas Kadam, in June 2018 had banned all types of plastic bags, single-use plastic items like spoons, cups and plates. The ban also included thermocol items.
As per the data compiled by MPCB, it has inspected over 600 plastic manufacturing units across the state from March 23 — when the ban came into force — to October 2. Of these, nearly 287 units appeared to be shut during the inspection by the MPCB officials.
MPCB officials said only two industries have submitted their plans for the buyback mechanism to the state government. “Our focus is on developing a buyback mechanism for multi-layered and tetra packaging and putting it in place.