Mumbai: With an aim to help people cope with the six-month old plastic ban in the state, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) will distribute 35 lakh cloth bags for free among children from government schools across the state. The move is based on a suggestion made by the state environment minister Ramdas Kadam and is aimed at promoting alternatives to plastic carry bags. He was speaking at the inauguration of a seminar on ‘Pollution Challenge and Measures for the Present’ organised by the MPCB.
We have received a positive response of the ban from the people. During the plastic seizing raids, officials in many cities have recorded a drop in usage of plastic bags. To sustain the ban in the long term we will distribute 35 lakh cloth bags among children. To manufacture the cloth bags, we will give Rs 5 crore to Women’s Finance Development Corporation, Mr Kadam told PTI.
Talking about the effect of this exercise Mr Kadam further said,
Children are the best medium to bring about any change. If we educate one child, we are educating one family. They will go home with cloth bags and discourage their parents from using plastic bags.
The bags are being made by Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), an organisation that falls under the State Women’s Development Corporation of Government of Maharashtra. Over 1 lakh (1,12,000) Self-Help Groups (SHGs) work with the MAVIM to empower women from the economically backward classes. Spread over 34 districts in the state, around 13 lakh women have been working round the clock to make cloth bags since the ban was imposed on June 23. The bags will be available in different sizes.
Maharashtra Plastic Ban So Far
On June 23, the plastic ban was enforced in India’s second most populous state of Maharashtra. In the last three months, there have been many products that were originally included in the ban but were removed from the list like all kinds of plastic bottles, plastic used to manufacture products, plastic bags used to store food items at groceries and so on.
The State has imposed hefty fines on anyone found using banned plastic items in the city. While first time offender will be fined Rs 5,000, second and third time offender will have to pay Rs 10,000 and 25,000 respectively. The civic corporations have conducted several raids and imposed fines and so far, 400 tonnes of banned plastic has been seized and fines of Rs. 3.5 crore collected under the state-wide ban.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.