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Plastic manufacturers urge Maharashtra govt to exempt more items from ban

Stakeholders said they will collect used plastic items, if the state partially rolls back the blanket ban.

mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2018 23:59 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

After exempting small PET and PETE bottles with a carrying capacity of less than half a litre from the plastic ban, the Maharashtra government may further dilute the ban by removing more items from the Act’s purview.

Going a step backward, the state government is deliberating with plastic manufacturers, traders and other stakeholders to find practical solutions to collect used plastic products and recycle them. In a marathon meeting lasting for more than five hours on Thursday, a high-level committee headed by Pravin Pardeshi, additional chief secretary of the chief minister, heard suggestions from representatives of plastic manufacturers, traders and other stakeholders.

They now will be allowed to make a detailed presentation before the empowered committee headed by state environment minister Ramdas Kadam, which is authorised to take all decisions pertaining to the plastic ban. The meeting of the empowered committee is expected to take place on April 16.

“Stakeholders have been asked to come with a detailed presentation before the empowered committee which is authorised to take any decision pertaining to plastic ban,” Pradeshi said after the meeting.

During the high level meeting, plastic manufacturers and traders have agreed to set up a mechanism for collection of used plastic products under extended producer responsibility (EPR), as per the waste management rules, if the government revokes the blanket ban.

Ravi Jashnani, president of Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association (MPMA) said, “We will set up a mechanism to collect plastic bags and other items from people and send them to recycling units. We have asked the government to provide a small space in every city where collected plastic items can be stored at one place.”

In addition, we have further asked the government to set up a helpline number to alert implementing authorities if there are any violations and constitute a committee comprising government and our representatives which can carry out raids against offenders, he added.

Manufacturers have also suggested to make weight of each plastic bag minimum 16 grams, which will make them expensive, and small vendors will stop using them. This may reduce littering of plastic bags and eliminate the ubiquitous small bags from the market.

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 23:59 IST