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Saying no to plastic

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Saying no to plastic

Clogged as it is during the monsoons, the State of Maharashtra has decided to set itself the ambitious target to completely ban the use, sale and distribution of plastic. The new rules stipulate a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first violation going up to Rs 25,000 for subsequent violations. The move has ruffled a few feathers. The ban incurred the displeasure of the Shiv Sena which branded it as a “tool in the hands of the State Government to raise funds”. But the Sena, usually quite adept at reading the signals on the ground, may have got it wrong this time because despite the scepticism of many, citizens have expressed wholehearted support for the plastic ban. 

This is a good start in changing mindsets and consumer habits. But such is the all-pervading nature of plastic in our lives, we need a revolution to make people aware of how it is choking our cities and countryside. Greater cooperation between the Government and citizens is the key to this end and the Devendra Fadnavis administration must be complimented on its outreach to citizens’ groups. But the new rules will remain only on paper – or worse, become a tool for extortion as the Sena claims – if implementation of the plastic ban is not rigorously enforced without fear or favour. Monitoring of industries which use plastics must be transparent and fair. And the punishment for violators severe.

 
 
 
 
 

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