With the deadline for creating a buy-back mechanism for collection of plastic used by retailers and in multi-layered and tetra packaging ending on October 1, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has instructed its officials to initiate action against plastic manufacturers and producers from Monday.
Officials said that E. Ravendiran, Member Secretary of the MPCB, held a meeting on Saturday with all MPCB officers across the state through video conferencing in order to review implementation of the ban on plastic bags and single-use plastic items, said an official.
“I have instructed them to take action against all the violators as per the notification, for not complying with it,” Ravendiran told The Indian Express.
An MPCB official said retailers are expected to print the manufacturers’ name, type of plastic and buy-back price on all plastic packaging used by them. “Besides, they are expected to put in place a mechanism for collection of plastic and to ensure recycling. We will see whether this is being followed by them,” said an official.
Another official said that in case of the multi-layered and tetra packaging, the manufacturers or band owners or producers need to submit the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) plan that involves modalities for waste collection systems to the Urban Development department for its approval. “Then, the letter should be submitted to us. So far, we haven’t received a single approval letter,” said the official, adding that notices were issued to them for EPR plan in August.
Ravendiran said that it has been decided to hold region wise inter-departmental coordination meetings with all the officers empowered to take action as per the notification. The meetings will be chaired by environment minister Ramdas Kadam.
The first meeting of Konkan region is scheduled for Thursday. “It is an attempt to sensitise them, make them aware of their role in effective implementation of the ban. Apart from MPCB and Environment Department, officials from other departments are also empowered to take action against violators,” he added.
However, officials from the Environment Department said that milk dairies are yet to put in place a buy-back mechanism for milk pouches.
“A meeting was held with the few milk dairies but they are yet to respond. We will now hold meetings with them to find a way out,” said an official adding that it did not insist them as the farmers’ agitation last month sought a hike in milk procurement rates and the buyback mechanism would be another challenge for them.