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Mumbai adds plastic woes to its ever growing garbage pile

The July 2005 rains, which resulted in severe water logging, mainly due to choked drains have still not opened Mumbaikars eyes. The BMC's yet-to-be-released Environment Status Report for 2013-14 shows that plastic accounts for around 675 MT of the city's total daily waste generated in that year. In fact, the quantum of plastic waste generated by the city has increased over the years. For instance, in 2010-11, 10 percent (650 MT) of the total 6,500 MT of garbage generated was plastic, which dipped the following year to 9 percent or 630 MT of the 7,000 MT of garbage generated. While in 2013-14, too, plastic accounts for 9 percent, it has increased in absolute terms as the total waste generated is considerably higher.

Even the extra charge on plastic bags levied by shops and malls does not seem to have had the desired effect. The increased generation of plastic waste is a cause for concern as the BMC has no way of processing it. Currently, Mumbai generates 7,500 MT of waste everyday, of which nearly 9 percent is plastic waste. Civic sources said the major plastic components in the city's garbage are filtered using a primitive manual process by ragpickers, who sell them to recycling agents. But garbage generated from households is unregulated and most of that plastic reaches dumping grounds.

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