3-year jail, stiff fine for violating ban on plastic in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam on Friday announced the government’s decision to ban plastic in the State. The ban will be effective from March 18, being celebrated as Gudhi Padwa, the Marathi new year

“Plastic bags, thermocol, disposable cups and plates, cutlery, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches and packaging would be banned,” said Mr. Kadam. He added that those violating the ban would be fined ₹25,000 and could also face a three-year jail term. The ban would cover the production, use, storage, sale, distribution, import and transportation of plastic, Mr. Kadam told the House.

Mr. Kadam said, “Plastic used to cover medicines, forest and horticulture products, solid waste, tree saplings and the use of plastic in special economic zones for export purposes would be exempted from the ban.” Plastic covers and wrappers used for manufactured and processed products would also be exempt, he said.

According to the statement made by the Minister, plastic milk pouches would have to be above 50 microns which should be recyclable. At the same time, the pouches will have to mention the pre-decided cost of recycling and customers can claim refund of 50 paise per pouch.

“Dairy industry must have a mechanism for the collection of used milk pouches and it would be mandatory for them to buy it back,” he said. The government has also given the responsibility to prepare a mechanism to recycle PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles to manufacturers, sellers and distributors at a cost of not more than ₹1 per bottle. In an attempt to promote recycling of PET bottles, the government has clarified that companies involved in the recycling process would get GST refund in the proportion of recycling material.

“Bottle recycling and collection centres are to be set up within three months of the rules and regulations being published,” he added. Mr. Kadam also addressed a press conference along with Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray to announce the decision on Friday evening. Mr. Thackeray expressed gratitude towards the government for accepting his demand to ban use of plastic in the state.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 8:41:29 AM |

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