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Maharashtra government likely to ban plastic bottles in its offices and hotels

Environment minister Ramdas Kadam said the move is aimed at making the state plastic-free

mumbai Updated: Nov 17, 2017 15:29 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra government,plastic ban,plastic bottles
Officials said hotels can use water bottles made of reusable glass. (HT File)

The state government is considering banning the use of plastic water bottles in government offices and in star hotels. The environment department’s proposal is the state’s first step towards banning plastic completely by Gudi Padwa next March.

State environment minister Ramdas Kadam said the move was aimed at making the state plastic-free. “We want to eventually ban the use of plastic in the state and are working towards it. We know that the use of plastic creates environmental issues globally,” Kadam told HT.

The government banned plastic bags below 50 microns after the 2005 deluge that claimed several lives in Mumbai and its suburbs. However, senior environmental department officials said Phase 1 includes a ban on the use of plastic bottles in residential hotels and government offices across the state. An amendment to accommodate the ban will be introduced in the winter session of the state Assembly in December.

Satish Gavai, principal secretary, environment, said the environment should take precedence over convenience. “We have tried half measures before and they haven’t succeeded. This time, the intention is to impose a complete ban, with the people’s involvement. Earlier, convenience took precedence over the environment. We want to reverse it. Plastic bottles and bags come at the cost of the environment,” he said.

Kadam convened a meeting of all municipal corporations across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on Thursday. According to officials, the government plans hold municipal corporations responsible for implementing the ban.

Officials said hotels can use water bottles made of reusable glass. “We will enforce the ban rigidly in the government offices and hotels. We will try to convince the public and private sector offices to enforce it as it will later be imposed on them,” Gavai said.

Another senior official said the state also plans to cancel the licences of shop owners who sell plastic bags, once the ban is in place. The government also plans to sensitise people across the state on the hazards of using plastic.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 15:29 IST