June 7, 2009 5:03:34 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has proclaimed its intentions to ban the use of plastic within municipal limits,but the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) doubts whether the idea is feasible.
Though the decision is yet to come before the general body before it is forwarded to the state government,member secretary of MPCB Sanjay Khandare said,The state is already trying to implement a ban on manufacturing of plastic bags below 50 microns. A complete ban as suggested by the PMC is neither feasible nor practical.
The state government had struggled with the ban on the use of plastic bags below 20 microns in 2005 whereas the 2007 amendment took the ban further to below 50 microns. Even the rules in the act Maharashtra Plastic Carrybag Manufacture and Usage mention a ban on the use of plastic only below 50 microns. The municipal authorities will have to adhere to these rules, Khandare said.
The state uses 100 tonnes of plastic carrybags daily and nearly 439 registered carrybag manufacturers cater to this requirement. Mumbai and Pune top the list among the users,with Mumbai taking in 40-50 trucks and Pune following with 10-12 trucks.
While the civic body had passed the decision against the backdrop of the solid waste management issue taken up by the Uruli-Phursungi villagers,the proposal mooted by BJP corporators Ashok Yenpure and Dilip Umbarkar came about because of the rising menace of plastic bags in the city.
It should be completely banned so that people start using cloth bags, Yenpure said.
Shopkeepers who are still trying to heed to the ban of plastic bags below 50 microns are peeved at the decision. Even the use of plastic bags above 50 microns is not being effectively implemented. A total ban will not be possible and will only encourage illegal supply to the state, said a shopkeeper in Camp area.
Even green organisations are not sure that a total ban is possible. President of Alert Vandana Chavan said a complete ban was difficult as they have to follow the rules and secondly it is not practically possible without any alternative solution. It can be phased out if there is an alternative solution with necessary awareness. She said segregation of garbage is a priority and disposal of plastic bags above 50 microns was more important.
TO THE STREETS
The MPCB,in its effort to reach out to people to use plastic above 50 microns,is organising street plays to create awareness.
Khandare said nearly 100 street plays had been staged in various parts of Mumbai and the same will be repeated in Pune,Navi Mumbai,Nasik and Kolhapur. We will stage over 200 plays in the coming three months to spread the awareness.
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