Maharashtra will be free of single-use plastic by May 1, says Aaditya
Maharashtra will be completely free of single-use disposable plastic by May 1, 2020, even in cases where it is still in use despite a ban being enforced on June 23, 2019, said Maharashtra minister for environment Aaditya Thackeray on Friday.
The state on March 23, 2019, issued a notification to ban single-use disposable plastic items such as plastic bags, cups, spoons, plates, tiffin containers, and gave users, retailers and manufacturers three months to get rid of such items.
Legislative council members Anant Gadgil, Ramhari Rupnavar, Husnabanu Khalife, Wajahat Mirza and others, in their question, alleged that plastic continues to be widely used in fish, meat and vegetable markets, even in Mumbai markets such as Dadar, Byculla, Govandi and Mankhurd. Responding to it in the legislative Council, Thackeray said, “I have directed all municipal commissioners to take strict action against any such cases. Maharashtra will be completely free of single-use disposable plastic by May 1…The directives were given in a meeting of all municipal commissioners and district collectors, taken on February 4, through a video conference call.”
Thackeray said, “Firms of 53 plastic manufacturers have been shut down in Mumbai, since the plastic ban. Until February 1, 84,210kg of plastic was confiscated and ₹4.54 crore fine was collected within the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) limits.”
Among other actions taken, Thackeray said, was using 7% plastic in Mumbai’s roads, and the state’s decision on a buy-back policy from conservancy workers at ₹15 per kg.
Akhilesh Bhargava, member, environment committee of All India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA), said, “Single-use plastic is freely available and widely used in the market. There are a lot of factors responsible for this, ranging from the mindset of the consumers, to lack of explored options. There are thousands of units across the country and material flows from one state to the other. A lot of detailing is required to understand the issue.”