All the small and medium-scale industries and big industries which are involved in plastic businesses would be provided an adequate time frame to switch over to alternative modes of businesses.
The Maharashtra government has taken the decision to ban the use of plastic in two phases, a notification for which will be issued soon. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday night. The government cited environmental and public health concerns for taking the significant step which would be strictly enforced in a time-bound manner.
Earlier, State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had said the ban would be enforced on March 18. A senior cabinet minister requesting anonymity said: “The government has taken the decision to get rid of use of plastic in two phases. A short-term and a long-term policy have been drafted to tackle the plastic menace.
All the small and medium-scale industries and big industries which are involved in plastic businesses would be provided an adequate time frame to switch over to alternative modes of businesses. Various business models have been recommended by the government along with employment to the people engaged in the plastic industries.”
The state environment department has conveyed that the ban would be for all polythene bags, specified type of plastic sheets, flags, flexes and banners, plastic and thermocol items such as plates, cups, glasses, forks, bowls and spoons.
The supply of milk in plastic bags will have to be replaced with environmental friendly containers or bottles. Gradually, all types of food supply which is packaged in plastic will have to be replaced with environment friendly containers and boxes. Cloth bags, bio-degradable containers, bottles, plates, cups and others items would be promoted to help plastic industry to explore alternative business.
The decision will be enforced across rural and urban Maharashtra. All municipal corporations, municipal councils, district collectors and chief executive officers of the zilla parishads have been sensitised to ensure its implementation in their respective regions.
The government also intends to provide some incentives to those who strictly adhere to the ban decision. There is also a proposal to slap a penalty such as non-renewing of licences for shops and industries which violate the decision.
Ravi Jashnani, president of the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association, said, “Merely banning plastic is not the solution. Even in the past, the government had banned plastic bags below 50 microns. However, it is available in the illegal market. Even this time around, banning plastic will only create a second market for illegal bags, causing losses to the government.”