State Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Tuesday asked the state administration to make Maharashtra single-use plastic free before May 1, which is Maharashtra Day.
Thackeray held a meeting with senior officials of Environment Department and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, along with senior officials from various districts of the state. He urged officials to make the plastic ban a mass movement, and asked them to engage with school and college students, sports and other clubs, housing societies, and NGOs, among others.
“We need to tell the people about the harmful impact of plastic,” Aaditya said. “For that, I have asked all municipal corporations and councils to submit plans on what they can do about it by February 20.”
He added that after studying all the plans, a state level meeting will be held on March 1 to chart a plan out to make the state single-use plastic free. “A big awareness drive will be carried out in March and April for effective implementation of the plastic ban to ensure Maharashtra becomes single-use plastic free before May 1,” he said.
In March 2018, Environment Department had banned the manufacturing, usage, transport and distribution of plastic carry bags, single-use disposable items, as well as plastic and thermocol for decoration purposes.
Meanwhile, Aaditya also sought ideas and suggestions from trekkers, travel bloggers and tour operators for boosting tourism in the state. In a meeting with department officials, he said: “Tour operators will play an important role and should come forward. The government will provide assistance to them.”
The meeting was attended by tour operators, trekkers, travellers and photographers who run popular blogs on social media. Actor Milind Gunaji also attended the meeting.
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