On March 23, the Maharashtra government had announced a notification, enforcing a complete ban on the manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of all plastic materials like one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and also thermocol items. The government move against plastic is to assess the damage caused to the environment.
- Maharashtra’s Poly-ban comes into effect from today.
- Fines ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 will be imposed.
- Viable and cheap alternatives are yet to be devised for mass use.
- Civic inspectors will keep an eye on shops, markets, malls and street hawkers.
The items banned includes all single-use disposable dishes, cups, plates, glasses, forks, bowls, containers, plastic packaging to wrap or store products, and packaging of food items and food grain material.
Some plastic items which are not banned will now come with a recycling surcharge to ascertain that they are not disposed of carelessly, but sent for recycling.
While environmentalists praised the cabinet’s decision, the plastic industry has slammed the government calling it “retrogresive step.” With its huge dependence on plastic and lack of alternatives to the banned products, many also wonder if the plan would be a success.
The law panel of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has rejected the civic body’s demand to reduce the minimum fine proposed for violating plastic ban from Rs 5000 to Rs 200 on 21 june.
As per the new rule, offenders will be penalised Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for the first and second-time offense. A third-time subsequent offender will be fined Rs 25,000 and three months of imprisonment.
While the plastic ban is implemented within Maharashtra, passengers traveling to the state from other parts of the country are also expected to abide by the law while disposing plastic at stations.
“Different teams consisting of 250 inspectors have been formed who will keep an eye on shops in malls, shopkeepers, street vendors, hotels, restaurants and citizens,” the official said, as per FinancialExpress.