The Maharashtra government’s move to ban plastic across the state will result in a revenue loss of as much as Rs 15,000 crore and will cost as many as three lakh people their jobs, the plastic manufacturing industry has said. “The ban imposed by Maharashtra from Saturday has hit the industry very hard and the plastic industry is staring at a loss of Rs 15,000 crore, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight,” Neemit Punamiya, general secretary of Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India was quoted by PTI.
He said that close to 2,500 members have exited the association with no other option but to close operations after the ban was put in effect, adding that the prohibition is “discriminatory”.
The ban was ordered on March 23, bringing manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol items under its ambit. A three month window was given to dispose of the existing stocks, the last date for which fell on Saturday, June 23.
Industry insiders have said job losses from the ban will impact Maharashtra’s GDP, and also increase banks’ bad loans from the plastic sector.
While retailers across the megapolis have said heavy fines for violating the ban will make them financially unviable and force them to turn away many customers, consumers have complained of inconvenience and wondered whether the ban makes any sense.
The authorities have imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first-time offenders and Rs 10,000 for the second-time offenders. Those who violate the ban for the third time will face a fine of Rs 25,000, along with a three-month imprisonment.