New Delhi: India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra has become the 18th state in the country to ban plastic after the government issued the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) Notification, 2018 on March 23. This ban has come within six months after State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam took up this issue with the cabinet. Since the announcement of the plastic ban in the state, thousands of people have come forward and hailed the decision whereas some have opposed this decision by the government.
Here are the five things about the plastic ban in Maharashtra everyone should know about:
What Does The Ban Include:
The ban is on items like
- Plastic bags with handle and without handle
- The disposable products manufactured from plastic & thermocol (polystyrene) such as single use disposable dish, cups, plates, glasses, fork, bowl, container
- Disposable dish/ bowl used for packaging food in hotels, spoon, straw, non-woven polypropylene bags, cups/ pouches to store liquid
- Packaging with plastic to wrap or store the products
- Packaging of food items and food grain material
The Ban Applies To:
The regulations for the ban are applicable to
- Every person
- Government and non-government organisation
- Educational institution
- Sport complex
- Cinema halls and theaters
- Marriage/celebration halls
- Industrial units
- Commercial institutions
- Pilgrimage organisers, pilgrimages and religious places
The ban is also applicable for hoteliers, dhabas, shopkeepers, malls, vendors or sellers, traders, manufacturers and transporters. Places like market, tourist spots forest and reserved forest, eco-sensitive areas, all sea beaches, all public places, bus stands, railway stations in the State of Maharashtra are included in this ban.
Fines And Punishment:
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.
As of now the state has given one month to the consumer, shopkeeper, trader and manufacturers to dispose of the banned items, after this one months’ time the act of usage of banned items will be punishable.
Things Exempted From The Ban:
The plastic bags or plastic that is used for packaging purpose of medicines is exempted for now. Compostable plastic bags or material used for plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture, handling of solid waste are also in the exempted list. However, these bags / sheets shall have printed guidelines and a message on it – “Use exclusively for this specific purpose only”.
The plastic cover / plastic to wrap the material at the manufacturing stage or is an integral part of manufacturing is also exempted. However, guidelines to recycle or reuse such plastic shall be printed prominently on the cover and material.
Last but not the least, food grade virgin plastic bags not less than 50 micron thickness used for packaging of milk is also exempted from the ban.
The Plan Of Action:
Minister Ramdas Kadam highlighted a series of actions the government is taking to implement this ban successfully, informing the netizens about the pan of action, Mr Kadam said,
As a substitute for plastic carry bags, we are trying to produce more and more cloth bags. The government has collaborated with various women self-help groups. We have funded an amount of Rs 5 crores for the cloth initiative.
He further added,
There is a state-wide ban on the thermocol used for decoration in wedding and important events. Lastly, for now there is a full ban on small water bottles, in three months duration the government will put a ban in place for large bottles as well.
Apart from these announcements, Municipal Commissioners, Deputy Municipal Commissioners, Shops and Establishment Officers and Inspectors, District Collector, Deputy Collector, Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad; Block Development Officer, to name a few are responsible for putting in place a system in the state to ensure the plastic-ban.