How Seriously Are Mumbaikars Taking the Plastic Ban?

Most Mumbaikars embrace Maharashtra’s plastic ban, retailers’ livelihood takes a hit. They ask, “What about us?”

Published24 Jun 2018, 03:02 PM IST
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2 min read

Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Video Editor: Ashish Maccune

As Mumbaikars scramble to meet the 24 June deadline on enforcing plastic ban, The Quint talked to retailers and customers who set out shopping on the first day after the ban. While many people stepped out of their homes with cloth and paper bags, some took their chances with the authorities.

Plastic is convenient during in the monsoon. I have a cloth bag also but everything inside the bag gets drenched in the rain. If it’s plastic, contents remain safe.
Reema, Mumbaikar

Those violating the ban, will be fined Rs 5,000 the first time, Rs 10,000 for the second offence and a third-time offender will have to cough up Rs 25,000 and may also face imprisonment for a period of three months. As part of this, plastic bags, cutlery, disposable cups, plates and containers will evoke a penalty. Thermacol is also banned across the state.

While environmentalists are welcoming the Maharashtra Government’s move, retailers and vendors are worried.

We wrap the fish in paper and give it to customers. Some customers travel quite a distance. The paper bag gets soiled and they leave the fish here and walk away. Before placing a ban, the Govt must make alternative arrangements. 
Geeta, Fish Vendor

On Sunday alone, Geeta suffered losses worth Rs 1,500 as most customers refused to buy fish without being given a plastic packet. Some vendors, however, have adapted by charging up to Rs 5 extra for a paper bag.

People have been getting their own packets for two days now. We are charging Rs 5 if they take a paper packet from us.
Arvind Lokhre, Vegetable Vendor

Till 2 pm on Sunday, the BMC had conducted surprise checks at 617 shops. The civic body seized plastic worth over 485 kgs and imposed total fines of Rs 1,90,000.

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