Written byRamya Patelkhana
Maharashtra Government, after proposing plastic ban, is looking to create tie-ups between waste-to-energy units and municipal bodies, cement plants, and industries for disposing of plastic waste.
Plastic is non-biodegradable; one of the ways to recycle it is to use it in road-construction, cement industry, and industrial fuel generation.
Banning plastic prevents generation of fresh-waste, but old stocks need to be disposed of.
A state environment department official said: "We will work on identifying existing plastic waste and create linkages between local bodies and industries which use plastic in manufacturing processes. This waste plastic can be used in cement manufacturing, road construction, and manufacturing of industrial fuel."
The environment department official said the existing plastic waste stocks could be diverted to manufacturers of cement or for construction of roads; they may soon test prototypes.
He noted that about 1.25kg of plastic waste could be used in generating 1 liter of industrial fuel.
The government may also give incentives to those who collect plastic waste, including rag pickers and the informal sector.
Maharashtra Government had last month announced a complete ban on plastic bags, irrespective of their thickness, across Maharashtra from March 2018.
Considering the environmental impact of plastic bags, the state's Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam emphasized on banning them from Gudi Padwa (2018).
Earlier in December, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis promised a complete plastic ban in six months as they are working on alternatives.
According to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), plastic waste accounts for about 3-5% of the municipal waste in the state. Mumbai alone generates approximately 10,000 tons of solid waste every day.
To prevent generation of more plastic waste, the state government is planning to ban plastic bags and also the use of PET water bottles in government offices and starred hotels from 2018.
However, the All India Plastic Manufacturers' Association (AIPMA) had opposed the Maharashtra Government's plan to impose a ban on the use of plastic bags from March. It instead urged the government to work towards the management of plastic waste.
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