Mumbai: Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray Saturday called for a central law banning single-use disposable plastic, as had been done by the Maharashtra government. Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on Independence Day, the young leader acknowledged that a 100 per cent plastic ban was not possible immediately, but could be achieved in five years."There is a need to change the mindset to ensure a 100 per cent plastic ban, and to change that, there should be awareness," said Aaditya, son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.He said that the plastic ban imposed by the state government had started showing effects in terms of reduced quantity of waste generated.The waste generation in Mumbai had been brought down from 10,000 metric tonnes daily to 7,000 metric tonnes. This had further reduced by 500 metric tonnes after the ban on plastic."It will take some time before India and the world bans the use of plastic. A complete ban on plastic will have a very positive impact on the environment. There is a need for a law by the Centre to ban plastic as soon as possible," Aaditya said.The PM on August 15 urged people to shun single-use plastic and encouraged the use of jute and cloth bags to protect the environment.Congratulating him for OEM Plastic Injection Molding Parts having raised the issue, Aaditya said that 20 states had already banned the use of plastic and that this had led to employment generation for women. "Climate change is a big problem today. At times, there is unseasonal rainfall and the temperature of the world, too, is rising," he said.On March 23 last year, the state government had imposed a ban on the manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles, and thermocol items.
The state government has imposed a ban on illegal plastic carry bags, but there is no stopping their use in the metropolis. With free availability of these bags nearly everywhere, people are continuing to use them, defeating the very purpose of the ban.A clandestine supply of plastic carry bags from neighbouring cities has further added to the plastic menace in the city.Mumbai daily generates 6,500 metric tonnes of garbage; a significant share of which contains plastic.The clogging of drains due to plastic carry bags was one of the prime reasons for the 26/7 deluge in 2005, which brought the entire city to a standstill with over 1,000 people losing their lives. Soon after, plastic carry bags under 50 microns thickness and under 8x12 inches size were banned by the state government under the Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage Control (MNBGC) Act.The violation of this act invited a penalty of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for the first and second offence, respectively. Certain offences automotive plastic parts were liable for a fine of Rs 25,000 and imprisonment of three months.Despite all this, the use of carry bags in the city has continued unabated. According to civic data, BMC in the last three years has registered 3,158 cases; seized 4,805 kg plastic; and levied a fine of Rs 1.50 crore on shopkeepers and hawkers for use of the banned plastic bags.Civic officials blame the failure of the ban on clandestine supply of banned plastic carry bags from neighbouring cities.A senior civic official said, "Despite the ban, carry bags continue to reach hawkers from neighbouring cities like Diu, Daman, Silvassa, Vasai, Dahanu etc. Authorities there should take action against the manufacturers to stop the supply. We have formed two squads to take action against the banned carry bags."Ramkishor Sahu, a Dadar-based vendor said that hawkers kept plastic bags for fear of losing customers. "People insist on plastic bags. I have observed several times that customers refuse to buy when we say there are no bags," he said.
Elaborating on impact of plastic on city’s natural resources, Mr Vasudevan stated that 50 lakh kgs of plastic waste still remains lying in city’s mangroves.Several sea turtles and fish get adversely affected after consuming plastic in the ocean or getting entangled in it. While the Aftermarket Plastic injection parts molding Suppliers plastic end up in the mangroves owing to the tidal action from the sea, accumulation of plastic in the mangroves also hamper tidal water to reach to these green areas leaving them dry."Many sea turtles mistake the plastic in the ocean for jellyfish and consume it, which later deteriorates their health. " Not only this, but the plastic accumulated at the mangroves also clog their deep roots, which eventually break them from their source," said Mr Vasudevan.
While there has not been any documentation of plastic found in marine animals washing ashore at coastal areas in Maharashtra, officials have stated that plastic could be possible reason for their deterioration and beaching incidents.MUMBAI: Marine debris mostly comprising plastic is affecting mammals in our oceans, according to the state forest department. When plastic breaks down into micro plastic particles, it becomes even more difficult to detect and remove from the open oceans."Usually we have got sea turtles in completely decayed condition in beaching incidents, due to which it is not possible to conduct autopsy.The United Nations report released this month stated that by 2050, an estimated 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic.According to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, plastic that breaks into smaller pieces are consumed by small fish, shrimps and prawns too.In conversation with The Asian Age, N.. Moreover 15 per cent of species that are affected by ingestion and entanglement from marine litter are endangered. But the possibility of plastic affecting their health could not be ruled out," he added.A report released by the United Nations on June 1 stated that marine litter harms over 600 marine species across the world."There is emerging evidence that the toxic chemicals added during the manufacturing process transfer from the ingested plastic into the animals’ tissues, eventually entering the food chain of humans as well. In many parts of the world, it has been found that marine mammals like dolphins and whales that wash ashore had plastic in their bodies," said Mr Vasudevan. Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell stated that how plastic in ocean and mangroves is dangerous to their ecosystem. Therefore, the most effective mitigation strategy is to reduce their input," read the report