11/05/2016 10:25 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

You Will Have To Pay A Hefty Fine If You Carry Plastic Shopping Bags In Bengaluru

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If you walk down a street holding plastic shopping bags in Bengaluru, chances are your wallet will be at least ₹500 lighter.

In order to rectify some of the daily damage to the city's environment, a complete ban on the use of plastic bags, containers and carriers has been issued with immediate effect. This comes after the state government's decision earlier this year on 11 March to ban all plastic items.

The city's civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), announced a penalty of ₹500 against anyone caught walking on a street with plastic shopping bags, and ₹1,000 for repeat offenders. The fine will be much higher for manufacturers, traders, and retailers selling plastic bags and banners.

The Bangalore Mirror reported that the ban will come into immediate effect and will be the responsibility of the respective zonal officials to ensure it is implemented.

The strict action has come in the wake of the startling report released earlier this month, where the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) had predicted that Bengaluru would become 'unlivable' in the next five years due to its alarming growth rate, disappearing water bodies, garbage crisis and being prone to floods.

Almost 10 percent of the solid waste generated every day in the city is plastic waste. Currently this figure is 350 to 400 metric tons of plastic waste.

Almost 10 percent of the solid waste generated every day in the city is plastic waste.

“There is resistance from plastic manufacturers who continue to sell plastic carry bags, banners, plastic buntings, spoons and other items," BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad told Deccan Herald. "In the following days, we are going to do more awareness campaigns on plastic ban and highlight its side-effects to the public, traders and manufacturers. Even after that, if retailers, traders and sellers continue to violate the ban, then a hefty penalty would be imposed.”

According to the circular issued by Prasad, manufacturers would be fined ₹2 lakh for the first violation and ₹5 lakh for the second. Traders and retailers selling plastic items would also be fined ₹50,000 for first offence and ₹1 lakh for second.

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