NASHIK: The health department of Deolali Cantonment Board is taking strict action against various shopkeepers for the last few days for using and selling plastic bags. A total of 13 shopkeepers were fined recently, and Rs 26,000 was collected as fines from them. Health inspectors Shivraj Chavan, Atul Munde, Shajeb Sayyed, Manoj Shelar and others participated in the recent drive.
Plastic bags damage the environment severely. Even after the state government banned usage of plastic bags in 2018, people still continue to use them regularly. As plastic bags get dumped frequently, stray animals eat them up along with the food from garbage bins. Eventually, these bags create a health hazard for animals as well.
Many animals have lost their lives due to these bags. Therefore, to curb its usage, the health department inspects the shops frequently and charges hefty fines to the wrongdoers. The health department also informed about the ban on single-use plastic products issued by the Central Pollution Control Board and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board from July 01, 2022. Failing to adhere to the rules shall lead to stringent action against the shopkeepers and consumers.
Single-use plastic products include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straws, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers. The rule manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of the following identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential with effect from July 1, 2022.
To encourage citizens to partake in the efforts, SPCBs and local bodies are organising large-scale awareness drives with the participation of all citizens. To help the central board, DCB officials initiated the drive and raised awareness among the shopkeepers and consumers in the city.