Yes, you know it right. There is a plastic ban in Maharashtra now! Maharashtra decided to revoke the ban on plastic bottles, providing some relief from its earlier decision to curb environmental damage from the non-biodegradable material. All manufacturers have to establish a recycling chain by setting up reverse vending machines and tie up with recyclers, a senior official from the environment ministry told Bloomberg Quint.
Here are things you need to know about the plastic ban-
Maharashtra has become the 18th state of the country to impose such ban.
Maharashtra is the largest generator of plastic waste in India, had on March 23 banned use, purchase, sale, distribution and storage of single-use disposal plastic, items made from thermocol and polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene terephthalate esters bottles of less than 0.5 litres. For other bottles, including those used for water and beverages, consumer have to pay more upfront and get refunds of up to Rs 2 on returning them at deposit centres.
Now, all bottles are included in the buyback scheme. The decision was taken after plastic bottles manufacturers’ association met the environment minister.
The ban covers plastic bags, disposable cups and plates, plastic cutlery, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches and packaging, and thermacol.
The ban notification also have defined “Plastic” means material; which contains as an essential ingredient a high polymer such as polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, vinyl, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene resins, poly styrene (thermacol), non-oven polypropylene, multi layered co extruder, poly propylene, poly terephthalate, poly amides, poly methyl methacrylate, plastic micro beads, etc.
The ban covers the whole State of Maharashtra for manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage and import of the following products:
Disposable plastic items like spoons, forks, cups, glasses, containers, disposable thermacol items like plates, glasses, bowls, containers, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches for storing liquid, plastic wrap used for packaging or storing products, plastic packaging for food items & plastic and thermacol decorations
This ban is applicable to every person, body of person, government and non-government organization, educational institution, sport complex, clubs, cinema halls and theaters, marriage/celebration halls, industrial units, commercial institutions, offices, pilgrimage organisers, pilgrimages and religious places, hotels, dhabas, shopkeepers, malls, vendors or sellers, traders, manufacturers, caterer, wholesalers, retailers, stockiest, businessmen, hawkers, salesmen, transporters, market, producers, stalls, tourist places, forest & reserved forest, eco-sensitive areas, all sea beaches, all public places, bus stands, railway stations, says the notification.
Which items are exempted from the ban ?!
The Maharashtra government have exempted the following from the plastic ban, plastic bags or plastic used for packaging of medicines, compostable plastic bags or material used for plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture, handling of solid waste, plastic and plastic bags for export purpose only, in the Special Economic Zone and export-oriented units.
The plastic used for handling of solid waste for example garbage used at homes. Take a breath of relief!
Plastic cover or plastic to wrap material used at the manufacturing stage or is an integral part of manufacturing. Food grade virgin plastic bags not less than 50-micron thickness used for packaging of milk.
The state also plans give consumers and traders more time before implementing the new norms, the official quoted above said. Instead of one month, manufacturers, retailers and traders will be given three months to dispose of the existing stock. Similarly, local bodies will be given three months, instead of one, to arrange collection and transportation and scientific disposal of banned plastic bottles. Intense lobbying by manufacturers has already led to some exceptions to the new rule. For example, milk packets and PET bottles have already been exempted.
Now, there are hectic efforts to make the new regulations inapplicable for other packed items. The environmentalists are happy and the environment shall soon be 🙂
Image courtesy: DNA