Mathura, 2019-10-04 (VT): Mathura-Vrindavan Municpal Corporation (MVMC) has banned the manufacture and sale of plastic water pouches from October 2. With this, the MVMC has become the first local body in the state to do so.
Following the announcement made by municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumar Mandar, notices were issued to 11 water plants supplying pouches across the district. Strict action will be taken against those violating the order. Offenders will be penalised under NGT Act (fine of Rs 50,000) and Solid Waste Management Rules (Rs. 25,000 fine).
Among the many challenges in tackling plastic pollution, water pouches were found to be most daunting and widespread, with the bulk of plastic waste collected by the municipal corporation consisting of them. Being the centre of religious congregations, these are extensively used in Mathura-Vrindavan. It is estimated that 3-4 lakh pouches are sold in the holy towns every day.
Previous notices issued to manufacturing units were either ignored or responded to with futile reassurance of plans for collection of empty pouches. Given the infeasibility of the proposed solution, the administration has now decided to completely ban the plastic water pouches, right from the production stage.
According to figures available with the Food Safety and Drug Administration (UP), there are 14 registered plants for manufacturing water pouches and bottles in the district. However, many such units have been found running illegally. Department officer Chandan Pandey said that new registrations have been completely stalled with a view to curb single-use plastic and comply with the order.
Joint Municipal Commissioner, Ajit Kumar Singh further informed that all plastic products of thickness less than 50 micron have been completely banned.