Mumbai: Still confused or clueless about the stock of plastic lying in your house in Mumbai, following the plastic ban? Well, dial the helpline number to avail the door-step service. In a bid to ensure effective implementation of the plastic ban in the capital city of Maharashtra, Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has launched a telephone service where citizens can make a pick-up request for their plastic items any day over the next two to three months. The move comes in 30 days after the state government imposed a ban on plastic materials. The 10-digit helpline number is expected to come into effect from April 23 onwards.
Talking to about the new step, Nidhi Chaudhari, Head Anti-Encroachment Department of BMC said,
“Banned plastic items from societies and commercial establishments will be collected by the garbage trucks. A resident will have to place a request for the same by calling the helpline number. There has been a confusion among Mumbaikars with regards to disposing of the plastic items and through this pick-up service we aim to ease the whole process.”
She further added, “The toll-free number line will also give advice about scientific disposal of plastic waste and alternatives to plastic items.”
Over 20 trucks will be dedicated to the pick-up service. All kinds of plastic items including non-woven polypropylene bags, thermocol, plastic pouches, plastic sheets will be collected by the trucks.
Among the number of measures that the BMC aims to adopt, the helpline number is the third step taken, first being the setting up of 20 plastic collection centres, followed by the PET bottle crushing machines in public areas across the cities. The collection centres have been set up in the areas where the footfall of plastic waste generation is high, like in the markets. Once the collection centres get filled, the plastic items will be transported to the recycling units in the city.
On the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, the government issued the notification banning manufacture, use, storage, distribution, wholesale and retail sale, import and transportation of all kinds of plastic items.
The ban covered bags, single-use disposable items made of plastic and thermocol dish, cups, plates, glasses, bowls, forks, spoons, straw, containers and small PET bottles having a carrying capacity of less than half a litre. Plastic and thermocol items used for decoration are also banned.
The Maharashtra government has sanctioned Rs 10 crore to spread awareness about the plastic ban. And over 3 crores as been paid to an advertising agency. From open exhibitions and short films centered around plastic waste to social media training, the BMC is likely to explore all kinds of options to eliminate plastic from the city.
The state government has given a buffer time of two to three months to the citizens to get rid of the plastic items after which violators will be penalised. Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 will be charged to the first and second time offenders respectively, post which the fine will increase to Rs 25,000.