Ahead of a proposed ban on various plastic items across Maharashtra, the state environment department has circulated a Cabinet note seeking comments from various other departments on the proposal. According to sources, the note proposes to ban plastic items including cups, plates, tumblers, milk pouches, plastic cutlery, bowls, spoons, flags, plastic sheets and other items. The Cabinet note has been sent to the urban development,
rural development, industries, dairy development and other departments for their remarks.
“We are expecting their remarks in a month and then the proposal will be placed before the Cabinet,” said an official, adding that attempts were on to implement the ban from March 18. The official also said that after approval from the Cabinet, a notification would be issued for its implementation. However, senior officials in the department conceded that implementing a ban on plastic on items such as milk pouches would prove to be difficult.
“The ban has to be implementable and it shouldn’t be just on paper, like the existing ban on plastic bags below 50 microns. In the first phase, plastic carry bags of all microns and plastic water bottles are likely to be banned in order to make people aware. The ban can be extended to other plastic items afterwards,” said the official. The official added that decisions regarding which plastic items would be on the list could be tweaked after receiving comments from other departments.
On January 2, the state environment department published a public notice proposing to ban the production, use, storage distribution and sale of items made from plastic and thermocol. The government has also asked district collectors and all urban and rural local bodies in the state to create awareness about the impending plastic ban. It also asked them to include a condition, while issuing licences or renewal of licences, regarding not selling, storing or using plastic items that would be banned.