New Delhi: Come June 23, India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra will start penalising violators for using banned plastic items. This will be done to strictly enforce the plastic ban in the state which was notified on March 23 by State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam keeping in mind the damage caused to the environment due to the excessive use of these non-biodegradable items. Though the notice of plastic ban came in March, the government gave every section of the population. Government and non-government organisation, Educational institution, Sports complexes, Clubs, Hoteliers, to name a few, time of three months to get rid of the plastic items and switch to greener alternatives.
Here is the list of plastic items that are included and excluded from the Maharashtra Plastic Ban:
Plastic Items Included
1. Any kind of plastic bags are banned
2. Disposable plastic products like spoons, forks, cups, plates, glasses, bowls, and container are prohibited for use by users, shopkeepers and manufacturers
3. Disposable thermocol items like plates, glasses, bowls, containers are included in the plastic ban
4. Plastic or thermocol decoration items are also included
5. Disposable dish/ bowl used for packaging food in hotels, spoon, straw, non-woven polypropylene bags, cups/ pouches to store liquid are included in the ban
6. Plastic packaging to wrap or store the products are also included in the plastic ban
Plastic Items Excluded And Here’s Why They Are Not Banned
1. Plastics Used In Packaging Medicines: For now, the use of plastic packaging for medicines will continue as these items are categorised into the category of sensitive products. Plus, the amount of plastics used for packaging medicines is negligible as compared to what’s used in other products.
2. Compostable Plastic Bags: These are the types of poly bags which are used in agriculture, plant nurseries, horticulture, to name a few. Since these plastic bags are bio-degradable and can break down to form compost without harming the planet, these have been excluded from the current plastic ban.
3. Plastic Bags Used For Exporting Goods: The Maharashtra plastic ban does not include plastic bags that are used as a part of the packaging and handling of products meant for export.
4. Plastic Covers At Manufacturing Stage: The plastic that is used to cover products at the manufacturing stage to retain the integrity of the product is also exempted from the ban.
As per the plastic ban notification, violators will be fined Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for first and second-time offence. Whereas, a third-time offender will be fined Rs 25,000 and can also face three months imprisonment.
But recently, Mumbai’s civic body – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed slashing the fine amount to a minimum of Rs 200 for first-time offenders, calling Rs 5,000 penalty “impractical”. The civic body has suggested that the fine for the consumers should be in a range of Rs 200-Rs 500.