The Maharashtra government has started penalising people found using plastic products from June 23.
With more and more states in the country taking to banning the use of plastics, Maharashtra too has woken up to the reality of the harm extensive use of plastic can bring to the environment.
Many organisations and non-profits are rushing to take advantage of all the awareness created around the use of plastic. Volunteer organisation Angolichi Goli recently joined hands with two other groups - Vasundhara Green Club and Nirbhaya Group, to dissuade more people from using plastic and, instead, encourage them to grown trees.
Tushar Warang, a volunteer with Angolichi Goli, told Hindustan Times,
“In exchange for five plastic bags, we give them one sapling. It is their responsibility to look after the plant and help it grow."
So far, the organisations have facilitated the planting of around 250 saplings in Dadr, Goregaon and Matunga. They have managed to collect over 1,500 plastic bags in the process from three collection drives that took place in colleges in the city.
Asmitha Gokale, who is the founder of Nirbhaya Group, explained the need to completely get rid of plastics rather than reusing them, as they often end up in the seas and harm the aquatic life, and end up as trash on beaches.
Her organisation is currently working with a company to convert plastic into fuel oil.
The Maharashtra government has started penalising people found using plastic products from June 23. Including single-use disposable plastic products, the ban has been welcomed by activists and environmentalists in the city, but has received flak from the plastic industry. The government enforced the ban after issuing the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage) notification in March this year.