The government is likely to bring plastic packaging in e-commerce products and plastic bottles less than 200ml under the ambit of the ongoing ban.
While the retail packaging above 50 microns may be allowed, the government is likely to bring multilayered and tetra packaging under the ambit of the law.
The decision was taken by the Empowered Committee headed by Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam in a meeting held on Saturday, said officials from the State Environment Department.
“All the e-commerce products will be brought under the ban. They will be given three months to go for the environment-friendly options like the packaging with the use of paper,” said an official, who is privy to the proposed notification, which is likely to come into effect soon. The official said plastic bottles below 200 ml for water and beverages may also be banned. “After the ban on plastic carry bags and pouches, we have seen a rise in the production of 100 and 200 ml water bottles in various events. So, we have decided to ban the production of less than 200 ml plastic bottles for water and beverages,” added the official.
On March 23, the state government issued a notification, banning plastic bottles less than 0.5 litres in the state. The ban was, however, revoked on April 11 and brought the plastic bottles under the buyback mechanism. Officials maintained that the Plastic Waste Management & Handling Rules 2016 already bar multilayered packaging from March 2018. “The 2016 rules clearly state that the use of non-recyclable plastic for multilayered packaging should be stopped in two years. Since it hasn’t been implemented, we are just reiterating the same provision stating that recyclable plastic should be used in multilayered packaging,” said another official.
While the multilayered packaging is used for chips, snacks and biscuits, the tetra packaging is used for various beverages. Under the extended producer’s responsibility (EPR), the multilayered packaging and tetra packaging firms or companies would be given three months to set up a mechanism for collecting and recycling of the plastic used for packaging, added the official. The official further said it has also been decided to allow retail packaging with use of plastic above 50 microns and the weight of the plastic bag should be minimum two grams. “The reason for putting the minimum weight limit is that the plastic of thickness would be used which is good for recycling,” said the official, adding that a booklet of banned items is also likely to be published.
Officials said that the government is likely to authorize and empower the officials of Railways, metro, airport and Maharashtra Maritime Board to take action towards implementation of the regulations.