By Megha Goswami
As per a new order, use of plastic gets banned in the Maharastra from today and all those found using the same would be penalized. The state government under the leadership of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has enforced the said ban after they issued the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage) notification in March 2018.
The manufacturers, distributors, as well as consumers have been given a period of 3 months for disposing their present stock and coming up with suitable alternatives.
An act worth praising
Though the act is surely worth praising, but still the government is bound to face some accusations. When on one hand, the environmentalists have welcomed the decision the plastic industry has come out in protest of the ban.
What all are included in the plastic ban?
Plastic and thermocol have been included in the ban. Thus, all those plastic bags with or without handles, plates, spoons, forks, glasses, etc are not to be used in the state from today. Plastic packaging has also come under the ban.
In addition, plastic straws, pouches, bags, and plastic used for storing, transferring products such as food have also been banned.
What plastic materials have been excluded?
However, not all have been banned. These below given materials have been excluded from the list:
• Food grade virgin plastic which is used for packaging of milk;
• Plastic which is used for handling all sort of solid waste;
• Plastic which is used at the manufacturing stage;
• Compostable packaging bags which are often used for agricultural and horticultural tasks;
• Plastic which is used for packaging different medicines and drugs.
What fine will be imposed?
The fine regulations are very strict under the ban. For the first time offense, the person would be liable to pay Rs 5,000 and for the second time, the person would have to shell out Rs 10,000. However, if it is a third time offense, then the fine can go upto Rs 25,000 and even 3 months imprisonment.
This is surely a welcome step taken by the state government but there is much confusion on the ground and it will take some time for things to settle down.