State has allowed us to use plastic cover on items, say Mumbai retailers
Retailers have allegedly been told that they cannot be fined for using plastic covers if the goods have been packaged that way by manufacturers.mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2018 13:09 IST
With just a week left for the June 23 deadline for the plastic ban to kick in, a retail traders’ association in the city said the state has allowed them to use plastic as a protective material for expensive goods for delivery, if the goods have been packaged that way by the manufacturer.
Members of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) had written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, asking the government to relax rules for the plastic ban to allow retail shop owners to use protective plastic cover for food, clothes, and electronic items for delivery. In a meeting on Friday with Anil Diggikar, principle secretary of the environment ministry, retailers were told they cannot be fined for using plastic covers if the goods have been packaged that way by the manufacturer, said Viren Shah, president of FRTWA.
“It has come as a relief for retailers that we can continue to use plastic. However, the government has still not provided a durable alternative for plastic in the long run. The goods we sell are very expensive, and there is no option in the market that can replace plastic to protect them from damage in the rain,” said Shah.
A government notification on March 23 mandated a complete ban on manufacturing, storing, transporting, distributing etc, and use of plastic bags, disposable items made of plastic and thermocol, plastic wrappers, and certain plastic packaging material.
However, citizens, traders and manufacturers were given three months to dispose of plastic items and switch to more environment friendly alternatives, before they can be fined. This deadline ends on June 23.
Members of FRTWA have organised a meeting of all retailers on June 20, to come up with a strategy to deal with the ban as they cannot use protective packaging, carry bags, and single-use disposable items such as plates and spoons from June 23.
First Published: Jun 16, 2018 13:08 IST