The much-awaited notification of Maharashtra government which points out its a widespread ban on plastic items in the state has been lauded by the environmentalists.
The implementation of this ban has already begun today. But do you know what does it envisages? The State government has laid down this strict plastic ban after it started facing problems on the garbage disposal. Moreover, it has also banned the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage too. Import of these synthetically made bags is also prohibited through this notification of March 23 this year.
The ban of this prohibition has just begun. It is named as the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products Notification, 2018.
The ban has also defined the word plastic to the masses. It is about the essential ingredient of high polymer products which are known to be harmful.
Which plastic items have been banned ?
The ban has covered the totality of the State of Maharashtra for manufacture and usage of these types of plastic. It also bans the transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage and import of these products.
This prohibition on the use and manufacture of plastic is applicable to all, besides government and non-government organization, all institutions, sports complex, theatres, marriage halls etc.
Which plastic items are exempted from the ban?
There are certain items which are though exempted from the purview of this notification. These are the plastic bags which are used for packaging of different types of medicines, self-destructible plastic bags or the permitted grade plastics used for plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture, handling of solid waste. Plastic and plastic bags for export purposes, in the export-oriented units, have also been given relaxation.
Water Bottles and Milk Bags
The plastic used for handling of solid waste in the home too, are exempted. Food grade virgin plastic bags not less than 50-micron thickness used for packaging of milk are also exempted from this ban. Milk bags and certain types of water bottles, as well as plastic milk pouches, will need to adhere to more than 50 microns thick and should be of recyclable standard.
Nevertheless, on such plastic bags, the price for buyback should be clearly printed. It means you can give empty milk bags back to the seller in return for which he will pay you back a certain sum, like Rs 0.50.
Plastic bottle manufacturers, as well as producers, sellers and traders under the special programme, will also be asked to develop a ‘buyback depository mechanism’, They will offer a predefined buyback price printed on each such bottle.
Thus, consumers will need to pay Rs 1 and Rs 2 extra above the MRP for buying PET bottles of up to half and one litre respectively. Plastic bottles with a capacity of less than half a litre have been banned in totality.
Fine for Violation of Plastic Ban in Mumbai
Fine for not conforming to the prohibition will be Rs 5,000 for the first offence, Rs 10,000 for the second and Rs 25,000 for the third offence. It can also lend you for a three-month jail term or both. Manufacturers will also lose their license.
Over 200 officers to keep a watch on Plastic Ban offenders
BMC has deputed quite an impressive number of officers across the city to take action against the offenders. These 200 plus officials will be spread across 24 wards in the city and will have uniforms licensed by the corporation.
Plastic Ban App
To respond to the queries of people about various provisions of the prohibition of plastic and allied products, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has offered an app ‘Plastic Bandi’.
Who is in charge of the Pastic Ban?
Municipal Commissioners, and all Deputy Municipal Commissioners, Shops and Establishment Officers and Inspectors, will be deputed to look after the enforcement. Sanitary Inspector, Health Inspector, Health Officer, Ward Officers. District Collector, Deputy Collector, Sub-Divisional Officer, Tahasildar, are also assigned these duties. State Tax officials, Range Forest Officers have also been empowered to implement the provisions of regulations.
Plastic Ban Helpline Number
The BMC has also established a toll-free helpline number 1800-222-357. It will work for the queries of the citizens so that they can know anything or everything about this ban.