Maharashtra Government on June 23, 2018 imposed the statewide ban on single-use plastic items; announced heavy fine on those caught using these items.
The announcement was made after a review meeting with Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officials.
When was the plastic ban enforced and why?
Devendra Fadnavis-led state government enforced the ban after issuing the 'Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage)' notification in March 2018.
At that time, the state government had given the manufacturers, distributors, and consumers a period of three months to dispose their existing stock and come up with alternatives to plastic usage.
The state government cited the environmental risks and harms caused to wild animals from ingestion or entanglement in plastic as the reasons behind imposing the ban.
Highlights of the plastic ban
• The ban is imposed on manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, thermocol items, disposable cups, forks, glasses and containers.
• Plastic packaging used to wrap and store the product is also included in the ban.
• Errant manufacturers will face a strong action, but common people and small traders will not be harassed.
• There will be no relaxation in fine. The fine for the first-time offenders will be Rs 5000 and for second-time offenders, it will be Rs 10000. A third violation will attract a fine of Rs 25000 and a jail term for three months.
• Meanwhile, the state government has asked all local authorities to set up a mechanism to arrange the collection, transportation and disposal of banned plastic items and plastic waste.
• Officials from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and district and local administration will be the implementing agencies.
• While, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has been made responsible for regulating this law at tourist locations.
• The government has also formed an association comprising of plastic manufacturers, ministry officials and environmental experts to oversee the implementation of the ban.
Plastic items excluded from the ban