Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Plastic Ban .. one year later ...

It's been over a year since Mumbai city was flooded ...

The main reason for the flooding was cited to be the indiscriminate use of plastic bags .. especially the thinner variety (20 microns and less). Since thin plastic apparently has an "ability" to get into the drains and clog them ...

Nothing, obviously, was mentioned about the non-existent waste management programme of the BMC. Waste management .. waste disposal .. waste recycling .. a lot of words .. very little importance accorded to them by the powers that be !

In its anxiety to show the people of Mumbai that it had done something worthwhile .. the Government went right ahead and "banned" the use of thin variety of plastic. The law formally came into place this year .. and the minimum thickness was raised from 20 micron to 50 micron ! Good show, guys !!

Well .. now that we are supposed to have banned the 20 micron bags and forced all manufacturers to switch over to thicker 50 micron bags .. there shouldn't have been any flooding this year, right ? Wrong .. the bags which earlier used to "go with the flow" .. have started clogging drains earlier .. since they are thicker now !!

The ban has not really made people switch away from plastic .. they have just moved to the thicker variety ! Result ? Prices of all plastic raw materials have gone up by about 15-20% over the past few months ... and guess who is paying for all of this ? .. You and I are.

.. and the manufacturers of these basic raw materials are laughing all the way to the bank, since they now are getting a higher price on account of the sudden demand increase; and are also actually selling more volumes !!

Other manufacturers who use this plastic to pack their products in .. are facing increases in packaging costs, which they promptly pass onto the unwitting customers .. you and me .. and it's Double Jeopardy for us .. not only does the flooding continue, but we now have to bear these increases as well .. Great going, guys !

Meanwhile, the Government is completely silent on the much needed Waste Management, Waste Disposal and Waste Recycling plans.

Hat's off to the politicians ... I hope the delimitation of constituencies which plans on giving more seats to the urban areas will force these guys to "look after" their vote banks .. if not out of their own civic sense, but at least out of their own selfish needs to "preserve" their seats !

Maybe we should also ban a few politicians who make irresponsible rules without getting into the consequences of the laws they promulgate, or is it the bureaucrats who are responsible ... we will never know .. or will we ?

Well ... and that's how I feel ...

1 comment:

Sundar said...

well, this is what I feel. Why dont we stop using plastic bags and be a little "old fashioned" and carry our good old re-use bags? why dont we tell the people who dump solid waste into open drains to not do it? I do feel we are careless and mindless too in our attitude. We dont want to correct ourselves but someone else to do the cleaning while we are happy to dirty the place around... IMHO.