India

Maharashtra bans plastic: What you can and can’t use from today

Fines, up to Rs 25,000, will be levied upon consumers, wholesalers and retailers who are found to possess these items.

New Delhi: Carry bags, disposable cutlery, thermocol – Dont’ even think about it if you are in Maharashtra. The state-wide ban on single-use plastic items in Maharashtra comes into effect from Saturday.

Fines, up to Rs 25,000, will be levied upon consumers, wholesalers and retailers who are found to possess these items.

The Maharashtra government had on March 23 issued a notification imposing a ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of all plastic materials, including one-time use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol items. Maharashtra is the first state in the country to impose such an all-encompassing ban, although other states have experimented with partial restrictions.

Read more: Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, 3 other states pledge to become plastic-free

The BMC’s 249-member squad will educate Mumbai residents about the ban over the weekend, but it will start handing out fines from Monday.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will levy a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first offence, Rs 10,000 fine for the second, and Rs 25,000 along with a three-month jail term for repeated violations.

Here’s what you can and can not use:

Don’t use these

  • All kinds of plastic bags
  • All one-time use disposable items made up of plastic and thermocol, such as cutlery, plates and bowls.
  • Plastic sheets to wrap or store products and plastic pouches to store liquid
  • Non-woven polypropylene bags (a cross between paper and cloth bag)
  • Takeaway disposable plastic containers used for takeaway
  • PET bottles (containing soft drinks, mineral water etc) and with a carrying capacity of less than 500 ml

Items exempted

  • Plastic cover/material used at the manufacturing stage
  • Plastic used for medicines, solid waste management and agricultural products
  • Compostable plastic material used for nurseries, horticulture and agriculture
  • Milk bags and plastic bottles used in packaged water industry. Milk bags and bottles will have to be recycled by collecting them back. Or else, customers have to pay a nominal recycling fee to shopkeeper

 

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