Three months after issuing a notification, and protests and court challenges not withstanding, the Maharashtra government on Saturday enforced its state-wide ban on a wide range of single-use plastic items and thermocol.
The Maharashtra government had banned the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage, and import of plastic bags through a notification dated March 23 this year. Other plastic items like 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, were also banned.
It is good that plastic is getting banned in the state. Maharashtra has become the 18th state to ban plastic. Plastic is a problem for everyone. This decision has been taken for the betterment of the state: Ramdas Kadam, Maharashtra Environment Minister pic.twitter.com/GX4UsrbYZ2
— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2018
Monetary fines will be ranging from Rs 5000 to Rs 25,000 and one could land in jail if for non-compliance with laws and regulations. “Fine for 1st offence Rs 5000. Fine for 2nd Offence Rs 10000. Fine for subsequent offence Rs 25000 and 3 months imprisonment. For non-compliance with provisions of Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage Control Act 2006 offence can be registered in COURT,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Nidhi Choudhari tweeted.
Mumbai joined cities like Seattle (US), Montreal (Canada), and Hamburg (Germany), which have banned the sale, distribution and storage of single-use plastic.
The state-wide ban imposed by Maharashtra government is an attempt to curb environmental damage caused by plastic. Mumbai alone contributes to 30% plastic waste in India.
— SatyaVijayi (@SatyaVijayi) June 23, 2018
Not towing the line will result in a fine and even imprisonment.
While there is a lot of confusion around the ban, Maharashtra’s environment minister Ramdas Kadam has assured precautions will be taken to ensure small traders will not be harassed.
“But strict action would be taken against manufacturers with an aim to stop circulation of plastic in market. Then there will be no need for us to impose fines on people or traders,” he said.
“Numerous plastic and thermocol was discovered caught in gutters which rendered our pumping stations ineffective and triggered flooding within the metropolis. We’ve since been engaged on banning use of plastic,” he stated.