You can be fined Rs 15,000 for using thin plastic bags | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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You can be fined Rs 15,000 for using thin plastic bags

If the state government has its way, carrying thin plastic bags anywhere in the country would be a punishable offence, one that could burn your pocket by Rs 15,000.

mumbai Updated: Jan 12, 2010 01:49 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

If the state government has its way, carrying thin plastic bags anywhere in the country would be a punishable offence, one that could burn your pocket by Rs 15,000.

In its recommendations to the Centre, the state’s Environment department has sought a stringent implementation of the ban on thin plastic bags.

So far, only stockists, manufacturers, retailers could be held punishable under the law. Now, the state wants to pin the responsibility on the end user too.

The Centre had sought comments on its draft notification, Plastic (Manufacture, Usage and Waste Management) Rules, 2009 from all the state governments.

Maharashtra’s Environment department, which is in the process of amending its act to ban plastic, sent its recommendations this month, calling for stricter penalty that also includes the end consumer.

The state has demanded that anyone carrying plastic bags of less than 50 micron should be slapped with a fine of up to Rs 15,000. For a second-time offender, the fine can extend up to Rs 25,000 and a subsequent third offence can lead to imprisonment for up to three months and a fine of up to Rs 50,000.

For continuous violations, a person should be tried under the Environment Protection Act, the state has suggested.

The state also said enforcing authorities for the ban on plastic bags would be the municipal corporation commissioners, member secretary of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, development commissioner for industrial areas and the district collectors.

“We want to ensure that plastic ban is strictly followed and that’s not possible till the end user is fined. The state’ plastic act is yet to be finalised but it will be on similar lines to the recommendations given to the Centre,’’ said Valsa Nair Singh, secretary, Environment department.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests draft says all plastic manufacturers should to renew their registrations through the state pollution control boards.