Cantonment's drive to stop plastic use

Cantonment's drive to stop plastic use

DEOLALI CAMP: The Cantonment Board of Deolali launched a 'Plastic Free Deolali' drive yesterday to restrict the use of plastic bags in town. The drive aims to stop shopkeepers and customers from using plastic bags that are damaging the environment severely.

As per the information provided by Dr. Rahul Gajbhiye, the board fined seven shopkeepers up to Rs.17,000. He added that the board aims to turn Deolali into a non-plastic zone, and the health department will do regular checkups to ensure that shopkeepers and customers switch to cloth bags and other items.

Even though single-use plastic bags got banned in 2018, many shopkeepers, vendors, and even customers continue to use them. These bags severely damage the environment as they take 10-20 years to decompose. Plastic bottles may take up to 450 years to decompose completely.

Not only do they damage the environment, plastic bags even clog the drainage systems, thus increasing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in town. Like many other places, even Deolali Camp has open sewers that might lead to the spread of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases due to clogged nallas. Also, the camp witnessed a rise in dengue and chikungunya cases in the past three to four months.

To prevent residents' health and abide by the camp's 'Clean and Green' slogan, the board launched this drive. The health department kick-started the drive yesterday under the guidance of Gajbhiye, Deputy CEO Santosh Sonawane, and health superintendent Aman Gupta. The department's officials visited various shops to check upon shopkeepers and fined seven shopkeepers in the process.

"I can finally see a difference in the camp's functioning. The potholes have been filled on Anand Road, and now, the shopkeepers are being fined for plastic bags. I can finally feel that the board is working for the better. Finally, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief. I hope that the board will take some action on dusty roads as well."- Kajal Bhalerao, Resident

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