Mumbai bans plastic bags and bottles: Large fines or jail for residents caught using single-use plastics.

Mumbai bans plastic bags and bottles: Large fines or jail for residents caught using single-use plastics. By Michael Safi.

Mumbai has the become the largest Indian city to ban single-use plastics, with residents caught using plastic bags, cups or bottles to face penalties of up to 25,000 rupees (£276) and three months in jail from Monday.

Council inspectors in navy blue jackets have been posted across the city to catch businesses or residents still using plastic bags. …

Local media have reported complaints from vendors who say some inspectors are using confusion over the ban to extort money from businesses. …

Discontent about Mumbai’s ban was made worse on Monday by torrential rain, which Chaudhary said had soaked through the jute or cloth bags many people were using as an alternative to plastic.

The plastic problem:

About 6.3bn tonnes of plastic globally has been discarded into the environment since 1950, most of which will not break down for at least 450 years.

Half of the world’s plastic was created in the past 13 years and about half of that is thought to be for products used once and thrown away, such as bags, cups or straws.

Plastics are made of hydrocarbons, so they burn well. Incineration to generate electricity would seem like the appropriate way to deal with used plastic.