Plastic ban : ‘3-month Relief is Defeating the Purpose’

07th May, 2018

THANE : While the state government has extended the deadline to dispose of polyethylene and plastic items like spoons, containers etc., it seems many vendors and shopkeepers from the city are still continuing the use of the banned plastic material. Even though the decision was welcomed by many retailers and traders who had already started looking for eco-friendly alternatives, a few activists expressed concern that the three month relief is actually defeating the purpose of getting rid of plastic as people are still using it.

Environmentalists and activists also claimed that this activity is not only adding to the stock of plastic at domestic levels but is creating a chain of hazardous materials being circulated back into the environment.

A Thane-based citizen activist Dr Mahesh Bedekar said, “It is the responsibility of both the residents and the civic administration to make sure no plastic is dispersed in the city. Although I have seen people who have stopped using plastic altogether there is still a long way to go. Only awareness could be a solution to this problem. It’s a slow process but it needs to be done. Also, there is a need for a proper disposal system as well. Even cities like London consume plastic in a large amount but they have an efficient disposal mechanism.”

While some vegetable sellers fear out on losing customers if they refused to give a polyethylene bag, some proprietors claimed to be unaware when it came to the disposal of plastic and are hence desperately trying to get rid of their existing stock till the end of the deadline.

“When it comes to parceling out cooked meals and gravies I need to use plastic containers. We have stopped sending out plastic cutlery like spoons and forks, but can’t seem to find an affordable alternative to the containers. Plus, we don’t even know how to dispose of the remaining stock, so might as well give it to customers,” said a city-based restaurant proprietor.


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