Mumbai: The state-wide plastic ban came in to effect from last Saturday has caused a 50 percent drop in business due to lack of packaging alternatives, according to the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association.
The government said a person who carries a single-use non-recyclable plastic item, will face a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first violation and double that amount second time and Rs 25,000 for the third offence.
Fearing penalties, over 2,000 kirana shops are closed in the state, Shah claimed, and business has suffered badly. Thousands of perishables have also gone waste, as sale of juices, milk and curd has dropped by 25 percent
On 23 March, the state government imposed a ban on manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol items.
As per the government’s notification, the fine for first-time and second-time offenders will be Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. A third violation will attract a fine of Rs 25,000 and a jail term for three months.
The major difficulties faced by the respondents include shopkeepers not providing bags for carrying items, inconvenience caused due to carrying bags from home while shopping, alternatives not easily available and extra cost for carry bags,as per a report in The Indian Express. The president of an association of fisher folk was quoted as saying, “After the ban on plastic was implemented, we have suffered an 50 percent loss in our business.”
An advisory committee headed by Praveen Pardesi, additional chief secretary to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had on 20 June allowed some relaxation in plastic packing at retail level, with non-woven carry bags being allowed as an alternate to plastic bag of 60 gsm, the RAI said.
“But, the same report has not yet been cleared as yet, and there is still confusion,” Kumar Rajagopalan of the Retailers Association told PTI.