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Railways decides to say no to Plastic for good

Railways decides to say no to Plastic for good

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently announced a ban on single-use plastic from March 1. Taking a step towards making Mumbai plastic-free, Railways also has decided that it will use cloth banners instead of the plastic banners. 

The Maharashtra Environment Department had asked Indian Railways to stop the usage of single-use plastic at platforms. The rail corporation has accordingly directed all the concerned departments to comply with the same.

Alongside, the vendors and stalls at railway stations have also been asked to replace the plastic cups and plastic bags with other viable options.

Earlier on Sunday, the BMC had seized close to 1,028 kg of the banned material. The civic body fined ₹3.75 lakh as penalty amount to 4,081 hawkers, restaurants, shops and other establishments.

The action by BMC came as Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray reiterated his pledge to make Maharashtra free of single-use plastic by May 1. BMC, in a first, seized banned plastic from customers as well. However, the civic body did not penalise them.

Over the weekend, BMC officials organised a visit to major markets along with areas around railway stations and hawking areas like Dadar, to raise awareness and conduct inspections.

Maharashtra government had earlier imposed a ban on the use of disposable plastic in March 2018. This included plastic bags, cups, spoons, plates and tiffin containers, among others. After which. the government provided the users, retailers and manufacturers three months to get rid of such items, after which a ban came into effect, June 23 onwards.

The ban, which imposes a fine between ₹5,000 and ₹25,000, was suggested by Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray. However, after about a year, the initiative against single-use plastic lost momentum and ever since it has been freely available in the market.

By January 2020, a year and a half after the plastic ban was imposed, the anti-plastic squad of BMC had collected 81,793 kilos of plastic. During the tenure, BMC had managed to collect penalty worth ₹4.41 crore for illegally stockpiling plastic.  

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