Plastic manufacturers to challenge Maharashtra’s plastic ban in high court
Claim government has decided to ban use of plastic without providing an alternative.Updated: Mar 17, 2018 15:11 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Calling the plastic ban by the state government unjust, the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association (MPMA) is now gearing up to counter the ban. The association has said it will approach the high court and demand that the government strictly implement existing rules.
According to MPMA, such bans have not succeeded in any other states which have previously attempted it. As per the central government’s Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016, plastic below 50 microns is prohibited in the state, though it does not say anything about the ban.
MPMA has already approached Bombay high court asking the government not to go ahead with the decision after the state government, on January 2 this year, issued an order stating its intention to ban certain plastic sheets, flexes, banners and flags, as well as disposable material made up of plastic and thermocol, such as plates, cups, glasses, forks, bowls and spoons.
“In an affidavit submitted in the HC on March 5, while responding to a petition, the government assured that they would call for suggestions and give enough time before taking any decision. However, that did not happen. Overnight ban on the use of plastic in the state is totally impractical and undesirable in the absence of any alternative,” said Ravi Jashnani, president of MPMA, adding that soon the association will challenge the ban.
He further said, “Government is banning plastic to avoid environmental loss, while plastic ban will force people to move towards paper bags that are made by cutting trees which will also damage environment. Besides, the ban will take away employment of lakhs of people.”
“I have to check the detailed notification issued by the government regarding the ban on plastic bags. I am surprised the government has taken such a step without even providing an alternative. It will severely affect retail shops because plastic bags are more comfortable to handle and easy to fold. Ban on plastic will also increase production cost of many products, like the milk and pickle industry,’’ said Suryakant Pathak, managing director of Grahak Peth, a cooperative departmental store.
In Maharashtra, there are around 8,000 industries with over 20 lakh people employed in the business directly and indirectly, according to MPMA.
Other office bearers of MPMA said that such a ban will promote illegal use of plastic in the state. “If we can take the example of Karnataka, we can see a large number of plastic bags in the garbage. Our association is ready to support the government for strict implementation of the existing laws, but the government has to provide an alternative,” said a MPMA member requesting anonymity.
Besides manufacturers, vendors too have voiced their concerns about the ban saying it will only cause inconvenience to common public.
Manohar Jethani , owner of Champion traders said, “I personally welcome the plastic ban as it damages our environment. There is also a ban on plastic below 50 micron, but as you know, it is easily available in the market. The ball is now in the administration’s court. We will see how they implement the ban.”