Buying goods in plastic? Be ready to pay a deposit



Finding that the ban on plastic has had no effect to control the menace of single use plastic, the State government is now planning to introduce a deposit refundable scheme (DRS) for every purchase of goods that comes in plastic, including milk packets.

Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday told the Goa Legislative Assembly that the government will amend the Bio-Degradable Bill to introduce the DRS.

“We are going to introduce a deposit scheme which is refundable. If someone buys a pet bottle of water then he may have to keep a deposit of Rs 10 or Rs 5 with the retailer. The customer can return the pet bottle and get the refund,” Cabral said.

He said for every product in plastic the customer will have to retain a deposit amount and collect the deposit after returning the plastic bottle or wrapper.

Pointing to the government’s failure in implementing the ban on single use of plastic in the State, Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas said plastic has become a major component at the landfill sites.

“We have not come out with a proper plan to resolve the plastic problem. Waste segregation at source is not happening. Recycled single use of plastic gets contaminated with food,” Viegas said, while raising the issue during the Question Hour.

The Environment Minister admitted that local self-governing bodies like the panchayats and the municipalities have failed to segregate waste at source.

“We are aware plastic has become a big problem. Part of the problem lies with the public. People expect the government to do everything but do not want to act as a responsible citizen. Therefore we are coming with the DRS. I have spoken to the Chief Minister and we are ready to come with the bill,” Cabral said.

Bicholim MLA Chandrakant Shetye said the common man buys milk which comes in plastic packets and wondered whether they will have to also deposit the amount.

The Minister responded in the affirmative and said people purchasing anything in plastic will have to pay a deposit and later claim the deposit by returning the plastic wrapper or bottle.

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