While the government has decided to ban plastic carry bags and water bottles in government offices and star hotels across the state from March next year, the All India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) is planning to set up a plastic processing plant at Versova beach.
According to the AIPMA, the plan includes processing large chunk of plastic removed from Versova and nearby beaches. “We have been working on the idea for almost a year. I have been actively involved in the Versova beach clean-up being carried out in the weekends for the past two years,” said Akhilesh Bhargava, the chairman of environment and green pollution cell of AIPMA.
He said the process of evaluating the technology was on and it would be finalised soon. “The plastic removed not only from Versova but from other nearby beaches could be processed at the plant,” said Bhargava.
Association chairman Haren Sanghavi said there were complex issues in processing plastic removed from the beach. “Normally, the plastic removed from the beach is mixed with sand and it becomes difficult to remove the sand. So, we are trying to find out a solution. Recently, a group, which has worked abroad on the issue, has joined us. A study and research is going on. The group will take material abroad from here for testing. If it is successful, then we can finalise it,” said Sanghavi.
He added that the AIPMA was providing funds and equipment for the Versova beach clean-up. “After the technology is finalised, we will approach the government for permission. Apart from plastic, we are also thinking of processing rubber, e-waste and others,” Sanghavi said.