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  #1  
Old August 24th, 2005, 10:02 PM
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Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.




The govt has decided to ban all plastic bags. Six years ago too a similar ban was enforced. It didnít work. This is what the govt needs to watch out for to ensure it works this time.


he government's proposal to ban plastic is not a new effort. Six years ago, after water-logging created havoc in the city, the BMC decided that all plastic carry-bags under 20 microns -- the sort your bhajiwalla gives you --were to be banned.
As we know well, it didn't work. There are several reasons for it:

* The state earns Rs 3,000 crore annually in revenue from the plastic industry (see box). With budget deficit mounting each year, the government can ill-afford to lose this.

* Several top politicians in Maharashtra like Vijaysingh Mohite-Patil, Finance Minister Jayant Patil and Vinay Kore, to name just a few, have thriving dairy business, the success of which is directly linked to the plastic bags in which milk is sold.

* The government has announced that local civic bodies will be responsible for implementing the ban, but sources in the BMC say they just don't have adequate manpower to do this in a city like Mumbai, where almost every person uses plastic. This was the primary reason the ban failed the last time as well.

* Shopkeepers tend to prefer plastic bags over paper ones simply because a paper bag costs five times the price of a plastic bag. This is because making plastic bags requires less fuel than the production of a similar amount of glass bottles or paper bags. This gave plastic its cost advantage. Moreover, it takes less space in a shop.

* Unlike in 1998, this time around, the government has announced that individuals found using plastic bags will be slapped with a Rs 1,000 fine. But there is no thought on what if the individual fails to pay up.

* Environment Minister Ganesh Naik's idea is that we should get used to, like in the earlier days, "getting milk in bottles and oil in tin boxes." Clearly, that is no longer feasible.

The government will give 30 days for people and organisations to file objections and suggestions before the ban is imposed. These are the points we are raising. More than ever, the city needs to regulate plastic consumption, but is aknee-jerk ban the answer? Perhaps, Mumbaikars have to, as they always do, take the lead here as well.


Bagful of factoids

* 1 per cent- of Mumbai's garbage every day is just plastic

* 50 tonnes - amount of plastic waste Mumbai generates each day

* 400 years - the time plastic can lie around without degrading

* 8 million - the number of plastic bags Mumbai uses per day

* 25 per cent - share of plastics in packaging industry

* Rs 3000 cr - revenue to state from plastic industry

* 8 per cent- share of plastic in garbage per day in Western Europe

Last edited by viruss; August 25th, 2005 at 03:49 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 10:29 PM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

walmart, sears etc also have plastic bags....are these bio-degradable? Why is this a big issue in India and not a big one in US?
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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:32 PM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawizard
walmart, sears etc also have plastic bags....are these bio-degradable? Why is this a big issue in India and not a big one in US?
dawizard bhai, unlike US many cities in India do not have a good garbage disposal system also people lack civic sense, resulting in majority of the garbage (including plastic bags) thrown on streets,gutters,rivers. These choke the gutters and rivers and cause flooding. Also often times cows eat these bags and die.

If you had seen Mumbai and Pune after floods the street sides,gutters and riversides were all littered with these bags after the floods receded.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 12:08 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Please follow guidelines for formatting headlines, etc. for any article in this forum
http://www.echarcha.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20402
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Old August 25th, 2005, 03:23 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

EC pai,

aap ka hukum sar aankho par..
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Old August 25th, 2005, 03:27 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Of coure many of our members were still shitting and pissing in diapers ... it was just 20 years ... give or take a couple ... all the groceries you brought home in brown paper bags ... yes ... in the US.

Good move if they can implement.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 03:33 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tantric_yogi
Good move if they can implement.
This is more important than just making law.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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Arrow Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

The last time when such a ban was imposed by the Government, the All Indian Plastic Industries Association went all out to oppose this ban saying that the livelihood of many small scale Plastic Industries would be undermined.

http://biz.indiainfo.com/businessinterview/plastic.html

The Government then softened its stand by banning only those plastic bags that were very thin in thickness & used mainly by grocers & small vendors. The ban ultimately never got a headway & soon began to be flouted by all.

With such strong lobbies still present in the country to protect the interests of their respective fraternities, it would be a tough job for the Government to implement such a ban.

The Government simultaneously needs to instill & encourage the use of paper bags by giving support & incentives to paper bag manufacturers & paper recyclers.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Exclamation The Plastic Menace

Banning plastic easier said than done

Earlier move fizzled out after a while

THE GOVERNMENT may have decided to ban plastic from, but can it implement this ban? Five years ago, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) banned the use of polythene bags below 20 microns thickness across Mumbai. This ban has, however, been largely unsuccessful, largely due to the lack of adequate manpower and infrastructure to implement it.

"The ban was successful for a brief period but it fizzled out. During the initial period of the ban, we confiscated more than 100 tonnes of plastic bags and collected Rs 3 crore as fine, but after the then municipal commissioner V. Ranganathan was transferred, the drive fizzled out," said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Chandrashekhar Rokde, the man responsible for implementing the ban at that time. In Rokde's opinion, the main reason the ban was successful was because Ranganathan had taken a keen and personal interest.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Bureau (MPCB) is another body that is instrumental in implementing the ban. However, MPCB has raided only three units in the last five years, admitted Dilip Boralkar, chief executive officer, MPCB. "It is difficult to keep a check on the units as they do not require water or electricity. Also, the bags are not necessarily manufactured in Mumbai; they come from outside as well," said Boralkar.

According to Boralkar, lack of sufficient staff to conduct raids and resources is another problem. BMC officials think that merely passing a legislation is not enough. The law cannot be implemented without the co-operation and the will of the people. The civic body spends around Rs 30 crore every year to clean nallahs, but if people co-operated, this money can be saved, added civic officials.

However, Ahmed Khan of K.K. Plastic, the company that is involved in using plastic bags for making roads, said, "Banning plastic is not the solution. What happens to illuminated polyester bags (used for packing biscuits and coffee bags), which are not recyclable? The government must find a solution to dispose plastic effectively." Raids begin The BMC confiscated 45 quintals and 69 kg plastic bags below 20 microns, after the state imposed a ban.

Raids were conducted in Andheri and Dahisar. Devendra Yadav, the owner of one such unit, was arrested by the police, while two others �� Ramji Gupta and Ramesh Yadav -were booked for possession of plastic bags below 20 microns.

More than 21 tonnes of plastic was seized by the BMC between August 20 and 23.

Maharashtra's transparent menace 30,000 units 35,000 machines Rs 15 lakh is cost of each machine 15 lakh suppliers 6 lakh workers 3 lakh retail outlets PRODUCTION 400kg is the weight of bags each machine produces 14,000 tonnes is the total production in state per day Rs 70 per kg is the selling price Rs 98 crore is the total volume of sale per day Why govt wants ban Streets are littered with bags. Bags clog water drains and lead to flooding Bags, which are non-porous and non-biodegradable, settle in the soil and block the free flow of water and air. This chokes the soil and suffocates the roots. Animals like cows foraging dustbins can die as polybags block intestines. Bags fill with water and become breeding spots for mosquitoes. They remain intact for up to 1000 years. They are disposal hazards as they cannot be buried (they choke the soil) nor burnt (they emit hazardous gases and pollute the air).

WITHIN INDIA Himachal Pradesh � the state has a total ban on plastic bags. Law bans production, storage, use, sale and distribution of polythene bags and a person can get seven years or a fine of up to Rs 1,00,000 Sikkim � has also banned plastic bags Punjab-- The govt has decided to ban the use of all types of plastic bags in the state. The ban will come into force after six months.

ELSEWHERE Bangladesh � In 2002, it banned plastic bags after drains blocked by bags contributed to widespread monsoon flooding Ireland � since March 2002 it has decreased plastic bag consumption by placing a `PlasTax' on plastic bags which retail customers have to pay South Africa � retailers handing out thin polythene bags face a fine of $13,800 or a 10-year jail sentence. Bags have to be 30 microns and more Australia � South Australia will ban plastic bags from January 1, 2008 Kenya � plans a ban on bags less than 30 microns thick and a levy on suppliers of thicker ones.

Source: Hindustan Times
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Arrow The Plastic Menace II

This is a sight that greets residents around Dadar Chowpatty in Bombay every morning. Nearly five truckloads of plastic waste is cleared daily from the area which lies behind the mayor's bungalow.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfisher
unlike US many cities in India do not have a good garbage disposal system also people lack civic sense, resulting in majority of the garbage (including plastic bags) thrown on streets,gutters,rivers.
Very true Kingfisher. We usually separate Plastic containers, cans, newspaper, etc (recyclable stuff) and put it in separate bin and regular trash in another bin and the city picks it up every monday(in US). I wonder how the same/similar thing can be done in Pune/Mumbai. We can dispose newspaper in Raddi centers, however what can we do about plastic containers, cans, etc.? I remember throwing all at once into the nearest dumpster as regular trash when I was in Pune.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Dear Echarchans,

So far, the policy of Maharashtra Government was " SPEND SUFFICIENT TIME IN CONFIRMING THE NEED AND THE NEED WILL DISAPPEAR".

The floods of 26th July has taught this Government one lesson. Vilasrao Deshmukh got thrashed from friends and foes alike for whatever happened.
The guy seems to have learnt something.

All those who reside outside India and are still used to carry their grocery from Walmart or Ralph in plastic bags may please continue to do so but we in Maharashtra do not want to do it.

I think this is the only sensible and prompt decision Vilasrao has taken in his life and all of us who reside in Maharashtra will support him to the hilt. Let those Ministers in his cabinet who own dairies learn how to use tetrapack.

Hence forth, we wish Vilasrao Deshmukh shows some courage and follows the advice given to him by the specialists and experts and tell his boss Sonia to manage important matters in Delhi and stay away from Maharashtra.

Arun
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Old August 25th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

In USA we do have choice to choose paper or plastic in regular grocery shops.People really care of recycle choose paper bags.Choice of Paper or Plastic also depends on amout of grocery you buy.They have bins allocated to get these bags back and dump them in repective bins.


Lowes foods chain of grocery offers you cash incentive for not using their plastic bags. We need to carry our own bags to shop and show it to customer care center. Cash incentive is paid :

Per Cloth bag use = 5 cents
Per Paper bag use = 3 cents


Check your local area store for those incentives paid?


And as regard to get those incentives paid in India no idea how big supermarkets chain function there?
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Old August 25th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

I remember that some years ago plastic bags were banned in Maharashtra and the vegetable vendors would wrap the vegetables in newspaper or paper bags. Then I think the ban was lifted and now its re-instated.

In USA, people are more aware of dangers of just throwing away plastic bags and the ill effects of these on the environment and the sewerage system.

Last year, I was in India for Ganpati utsav and noticed that the government had created a separate area on the beaches for dumping the 'nirmalya' or dried flowers and garlands instead of dumping them in plastic bags in the sea. I was glad to see this. I had gone into the sea for the immersion of our home Ganpati idol. I followed the ritual of dipping this bag of dried flowers and garlands into the sea water but then brought it out back again with me and dumped in this special dumpster. So my religious rituals were intact and also the sea had one less plastic bag. I noticed that many people were doing the same. It was encouraging to see this.

I think people back home will take the initiative if the Municipal Corporation and the State government provide a proper system for recycling plastic bags and garbage properly. Just banning plastic bags wont work.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 12:32 AM
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Re: Govt. plans to ban plastic bags.

Dear Echarchans,

It is the irresponsible media in India , newspapers and TV channels alike, who write pure nonsense of how many people would go jobless if plastic bags are banned and how milk would go dearer etc. It was the same media that was blaring day in and day out that the plastic bags had choked the gutters and pipes etc.
It is just the same argument what they use to beat Maharashtra Governments new law banning the Dance Bars.

I sincerely hope that Vilasrao deshmukh stays fiirm with his decision.

We all know that Indians love to live in chaos and neither like to abide by any rule nor does the Government believe in good governance. So to ask people to segregate the trash and provide separate bins like in USA or Europe is a far cry.

Always remember what was before the plastic bags were brought into use. We carried cloth bags when we went out for marketing. Our milkman brought milk in cans and poured our requirement directly in the vessel. Where was the need for plastic bag? It is a case of shear lethatgy and laziness which has created this monster. Let this monster be killed by Vilasrao Deshmukh. Just support him.

Arun
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