BBMP to fines citizens as well for using plastic

BBMP to fines citizens as well for using plastic
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BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Managar Palike (BBMP) is all set to fine not only traders but the citizens for using single-use plastic within the city limits. The single-use plastic ban was imposed in March 2016, in the state and the BBMP issued a circular fixing the penalty for manufacturing, supplying, storing, transporting, selling and distributing, and using the banned items.

Till May 2019, BBMP is able to collect over Rs 16 lakh in fines and seized nearly 4,000 kg of banned plastic items. According to the waste management experts, the amount of seized plastic should have been higher, given the fact that at least 10 per cent of the 4,000 tonnes of waste generated in the city every day comprises plastic items.  Continuing forward with the plastic ban now BBMP will impose fines on plastic users including general public.

Senior officials of BBMP said, “We are targeting markets which have ignored earlier warnings. Initially, we will seize banned plastic material from users, retailers and vendors. A week later, we will begin levying penalties and recruitment of 233 marshals would be completed by the end of the month.”

For collecting fines on the spot, the BBMP have joined hands with HDFC bank which will equip BBMP with 500 hand held machines. These machines will be given to marshals, health inspectors, assistant executive engineers and medical officers of health (MOH). The MOH have been authorised to procure paper bags and cloth bags.

An official said, “These will be distributed to the street vendors through councillors. Our health department is working out the cost of the same, along with hiring of autorickshaws with loudspeakers visit markets with a request to vendors and customers to switch to eco-friendly and reusable bags.”

Odette Katrak, co-founder of Beautiful Bengaluru, welcomed the decision of BBMP but told that to change the habit of citizens, it is important to provide them with an alternative solution.

Katrak said, “We did it in Green Glen Layout at Bellandur. In about a month, we got 25 vendors to shift to paper and cloth alternatives. Many residents, who didn’t want to pay extra for the bags, have now begun to carry their own bags.”

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