This is a discussion on Mumbai plastic problem within the Product And Services forums, part of the Miscellaneous category; There is no need for a blanket ban on the use of polyethylene bags as strict implementation of the existing ...
There is no need for a blanket ban on the use of polyethylene bags as strict implementation of the existing laws can ease several problems posed by it, industry members said here Thursday.
Restricting the manufacture, storage, sale and usage of plastic bags as per the central government guidelines issued in 1999 is the need of the hour, industry representatives said at an interactive session.
"The industry has been always willing to follow the (central government) guidelines which were again revised in 2003," said Vijay Merchant, a member of the Indian Centre for Plastic in the Environment (ICPE).
"Plastic, if used properly, is not hazardous," he emphasised.
The Maharashtra government had issued a draft order Sep 13 on the discontinuation of polyethylene bags, noting them as a potential source of injury to humans and animals and damage to the environment.
The ban will come into effect on Oct 20.
The government decision came after the July 26 floods in the city that killed close to 700 people and injured many more.
It was widely reported in the media that one of the main causes for the floods was the clogging of the city's drains and sewers by plastic bags.
Members of ICPE and Plastindia Foundation, another industry organisation, maintained that water logging in the city that followed the floods was a result of the inadequacy of the drainage system in the city.
However, they said the industry was most willing to arrange for buyback of used plastic material including discarded carry bags if a scheme can be initiated in this regard.
"We are ready to follow the guidelines which say the manufacturers' names be printed on the carry bags with proper declaration of thickness and recycling mark," Merchant said.
"Plastic is not the pollutant, but the users are. We civilised people should treat a new material in a civilised way. I am not convinced that the ban is justified," said Ashok Misra, director of Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.