Plastic bottles may soon be banned at government offices, hotels in Maharashtra
The decision would be part of the state environment department’s plan to ban all kind of plastic bags and items from March this year.mumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2018 09:47 IST
If the Maharashtra environment department’s proposal gets a go ahead in the state cabinet, the use and sale of plastic water bottles (PET) at starred hotels, government offices, canteens, educational institutions and hotels located at tourist spots across the state would be banned.
The decision would be part of the environment department’s plan to ban all kind of plastic bags and items from March this year. The department has now prepared a draft notification to this effect, which is likely to be tabled before the cabinet soon.
The other items to be covered in the proposed ban are disposable, one-time use containers made from plastic and thermocol being used by hotels, plastic flags, flex material, banners and non-woven polypropylene bags.
“We are intending to ban the use and sale of PET bottles in all four and five starred hotels, government offices, canteens and educational institutions. The ban will also cover bed and breakfast hotels located at tourist places. However, the final decision has to be taken by the state cabinet,” confirmed Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary, state environment department. He clarified that the ban will be limited to these places only, and one can continue to buy bottled water in shops across the state.
The environment department has now sought opinion from various departments, including industries, tourism, revenue and forest department, over its intention to impose the ban. The departments may have suggestions or objections over the decision, which will be incorporated before placing the draft notification for the final approval before the cabinet, said the officials from environment department.
Ramesh Chauhan, chairman, Bisleri International, said the move would leave them helpless. “We have to shut down some plants if this decision gets implemented,” he said.
However, environmentalists have welcomed the move. D Stalin, director, Vanshakti, a Mumbai-based NGO working for environmental rights, said we need to slowly phase out plastic. “There is no system in place for re-collecting and recycling these PET bottles. As a result, they just lie around everywhere and when people can’t dispose them, they just burn them. By burning, we are sending the plastic to the soil, ground water and into the rivers. Now that the government is banning its use at its own offices, it is the responsibility of the people to respond positively,” Stalin said.