The Nerul ward of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on a restaurant for selling parcel food items in single-use plastic. The civic body has also issued a notice to the restaurant, asking why the license of the eatery should not be cancelled for using banned plastic. The notice reply must be sent within a three-day time period.
Acting on a complaint that a restaurant in Nerul’s Sector 21 was using plastic for parcels, a team of civic officials inspected the eatery and found the complaint to be correct. Upon failing to reply to the notice within the stipulated time period, the NMMC may seal the establishment under section 376 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act.
Ajit Singh Dhupar, one of the representatives of the eatery against which the action has been taken, said that they have already submitted a reply to the civic body. He said that he was using the plastic which was bought before July when a blanket ban was imposed on the manufacture, sale and use of items like plates, cups, straws, trays, and polystyrene made from single-use plastic.
“We have already started using paper bags,” said Dhupar, adding that the hotel association had raised the issue of alternatives to plastic as many food items can’t be sent in paper bags. “This isn’t an individual’s issue; instead the majority of hotels are facing the same situation. We are ready to pay more if there is an alternative of plastic available in adequate quantity,” he underlined.
The use of single-use plastic bags below 50 microns was already banned in 2006. Then in 2018, the state government banned all kinds of single-use plastics and thermocol.
Since the beginning of 2022, the NMMC has acted against 381 violators, collected over Rs 18.95 lakh fines and seized around 1.56 lakh kg of plastics.