- The ban on plastic will be effective from March 18
- Certain exemptions will be allowed for packaging food and other goods
- Violators will have to pay a fine upto ₹25,000
Mumbai: India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra has decided to address the growing plastic crisis by imposing a ban on plastic items ahead of spring festival Gudi Padwa, state’s New Year. From March 18, onwards, citizens found using plastic items including single-use plastic bags, flex boards, banners, and disposable containers and utensils will be heavily penalised upto Rs. 25,000 and can face a jail term for three months. The ban comes in six months after State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had taken up this issue with the cabinet.
“The committee will prepare the roadmap for banning rest of the plastic goods. Today, a ban on plastic was approved in principle, but the committee will decide the further action plan,” an official from the environment ministry told PTI.
Along with the manufacturers, users found in possession of plastic bags of any thickness, thermocol, non-woven polypropylene bags, banners, flags, decorative door hangings, plastic sheets and all types of plastic wrappers will have to face the punishment. Certain exemptions will be allowed for packaging for food and other goods.
Also Read: A Comprehensive Waste Management Model Needed To Cut Down Plastic Generation: Dia Mirza
To eradicate the plastic usage from the state completely and ensure effectiveness on the ban, Maharashtra government will carry out several awareness programmes in the coming few months. The state government will also rope in Self-Help Groups to come up with the eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags. In the initial few months of the ban, the government will provide financial incentive to those municipalities and village panchayats who go out of their way to tackle the plastic pollution.
In wake of the proposal to ban plastic, plastic manufacturers in the state had last month taken out a massive procession raising concerns over the economic hit the sector is likely to undergo after the ban. With the plastic industry growing at 15% annually, such a ban would lead to unemployment, affect the tourism industry and may hamper the overall GDP.
Also Read: Maharashtra Plastic Industry Challenges Ban On Sale And Manufacture Of Plastic Bags
Keeping in mind the repercussions plastic industry is likely to face, the state has formed an empowered committee to discuss the ban on rest of the plastic goods.
It has been less than 24 hours since the ban has been announced and netizens in huge numbers have hailed the decision. Here’s what they have to say:
Much Needed Initiative: Actor Farhan Akhtar
Welcome the ban of single use plastic in Maharashtra. Kudos to our Hon. CM, State Environment minister & all responsible for this much needed initiative. Hope other states follow suit soon. #SaveTheEnvironment
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) March 16, 2018
A Bold Move: Actor Riteish Deshmukh
Great & a bold decision by the Government of Maharashtra to ban plastic. Heartiest Congratulations to our hon CM Shri @Dev_Fadnavis, Shri @iramdaskadam and the entire team. ……over to you rest of India.
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) March 16, 2018
A Decision That Will Protect The Environment: Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackary
Finally a project I was working closely on with Minister @iramdaskadam ji who initiated the plastic ban, has been approved by the Cabinet. I’m extremely happy that this focused ban on single use plastics will take effect soon. This was needed to protect our environment (1/2)
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) March 15, 2018
Excellent decision by #Maharashtra @Dev_Fadnavis Government to ban plastic in the State, beginning Gudi Padwa on March 18. Hope it's implemented properly and public supports it.
— Gaurav Mohnot ???????? (@mohnotgaurav18) March 16, 2018
#Maharashtra govt initiates sweeping ban on all plastic bags, cups, spoons.. well done! Let's just hope we don't back down under pressure. @Dev_Fadnavis @swachhbharat @sidharth_naik #environment
— Siddhesh Bhobe (@siddheshb) March 16, 2018
PLASTIC BAN : The Maharashtra cabinet today decided to impose a ban on certain plastic items from the Marathi New Year, 'Gudhi Padwa', on March 18.#plasticfree #Maharashtra
— Akshat agrawal (@akshat_speaks) March 15, 2018
Also Read: Goa’s New Year Resolution: To Become Plastic Free By 2022 And Garbage Free By 2018
March 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm
what about the remaining 98% of plastic used for packaging everything from the chips, to bulbs to laptops to bread to clothes to every single item produced and sold in the market. What about plastic in wires, plumbing, pipes, medical instrument packagings, syringes, glucose bottles, thousands of machine spare parts etc. etc. Even up to 20 % of the car is plastic and so are all other machinery items manufactured and sold in the market.Even the report made by the committee would be in a plastic folder, printed on a printer made of 80%plastic, using a laptop with plastic presented in a meeting where water was served in plastic bottles and flower bouquets wrapped in plastic and so on. Where will all this plastic go if not to the environment?? Just giving govt servants the power to harass and fleece common man won’t help the environment. The issue is of disposal; repeat disposal. “Currently, there is no alternative to plastic in the whole world”. The issue is disposal and not usage.
DON’T MANUFACTURE IF ONE REALLY WANTS TO REMOVE PLASTIC FROM ENVIRONMENT.Bamboo, jute, paper are all failures. More often then not they are lined on the inside by plastic.
March 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm
By the way, has anyone brought to notice of the committee that usage of paper is extremely harmful to the environment as forest cover gets depleted since paper is made out of wood pulp? Would depletion of forests be beneficial to environment??? Has anyone thought about it or are people getting carried away by the plastic ban because it sounds fashionable? Developed nations are finding and encouraging alternatives to the toilet paper to protect forests.Please note.
March 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm
Water companies are selling water in smaller and smaller bottles of plastic inundating the environment with empty bottles. So are coca cola, pepsi, chips and other big MNC’s. Why don’t they establish water pumps like petrol pumps where people can refill water in their bottles. Because there is more profit earned from the bottle than the water at the cost of environment. Is it? Many companies earn profits by selling packaging material. Practically all malls have made lakhs selling carry bags since the supreme court order.One needs to take this money from malls who sell carry bags at 500 to 1500% profit misusing the court order. Only the humble roadside vegetable vendor gives it free because the poor guy has to sell vegetables for his livelihood and hence needs to be harassed. Has any study been done to reduce the usage of plastic? Or is it just penalty, penalty and then jail and that’s all to wash off one’s hands.