Tetra, multi-layered packaging next on Maharashtra’s plastic ban list
While the state government has announced exemption for retail packaging from its plastic ban, it now wants to bring tetra packaging and multi-layered packaging in the ambit of the ban. Tetra packaging is used for packaging various beverages and semi-liquid food items, while multi-layer packaging is used for packing chips, biscuits, etc.
The state is likely to give firms using tetra packaging and multi-layer packaging three months’ time to come up with a mechanism for collecting and recycling the used packets, failing which they will impose ban.
The move has come at a time when the state is struggling to implement plastic ban in its original form.The notification to this effect is likely to be issued on Friday.
Earlier, it removed PET and PETE bottles used for soft drinks and packaged water from purview of the ban. Tetra packaging and multi-layer packaging was not part of the original plastic ban announced on March 23.
“Tetra packs and multi-layer packaging are responsible for pollution and choking of drains. We have decided to bring them under extended producers’ responsibility, which makes it mandatory for the manufacturers to ensure their collection and recycling,” said a senior state official. Following threats from retailers over going on indefinite strike, the state environment minister Ramdas Kadam on Wednesday declared that retail packaging would be dropped with certain conditions.
Under the conditions, the plastic covers should not be less than two grams in weight and should not be thinner than 50 microns in size. The plastic packs must have the name of the manufacturer along with other details printed on them. Manufacturers will also have to ensure their collection and recycling, said a senior official.
Moreover, the state is considering permitting the use of takeaway containers, but only for cold items. “We are considering allowing containers to carry only food items that need to be stored in the refrigerator, but their collection and recycling must be ensured by manufacturers,” the official said.
Meanwhile, a ruling BJP legislator from Mumbai, Raj Purohit met CM Devendra Fadnavis and demanded to stay the plastic ban till December 2019. Criticising the move, Purohit said that he is not opposing the ban, but wants proper planning to be in place while implementing it.