Written byRajashree Seal
The Maharashtra government has decided to ban the use of plastic from "Gudi Padva", the Maharashtrian New Year, which falls on 18 March, said Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam.
The ban would cover the production, use, storage, sale, distribution, import and transportation of plastic, the minister informed.
He said those violating the ban would be fined Rs. 25,000 and could also face a jail term.
Kadam on Friday told the state Assembly that plastic bags, thermocol, disposable cups and plates, cutlery, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches, and packaging would be banned.
However, the 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 exempt from the ban.
Plastic milk pouches would have to be above 50 microns and it should be recyclable, Kadam said, adding that these used pouches should be brought back for recycling at a cost not less than 50 paise.
Kadam said that the dairy industry must have a mechanism for the collection of used milk pouches and it would be mandatory for them to buy it back.
Kadam said that manufacturers, sellers, and distributors should consider it their responsibility to prepare a mechanism to recycle PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles.
The purchase of such bottles for the purpose of recycling should not cost more than one rupee.
He said they would have to set up bottle recycling and collection centers within three months of the rules and regulations being published.
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