July 4, 2018
On the wake of massive protests by multinational companies and plastic industry bodies for softer rules and extensions against the plastic ban, just over a week after it was imposed, Maharashtra government has relaxed it for another 3 months.
The state has allowed ecommerce companies to use plastic packaging for three more months, according to a government order. During this time, e-commerce firms will have to come up with a buyback plan to collect used plastic packaging material for recycling or disposal and meantime source an alternative packaging material.
The ban, which came into effect on June 23, had threatened a sharp rise in costs for retailers, beverage makers and sellers of bottled water, among other companies that rely on plastic for packaging.
Representatives of companies including Amazon, H&M , Pepsi and Coca-Cola, as well as plastic lobby groups, met officials of the Maharashtra government days before the ban, urging them to implement the rule in phases and relax some norms.
Maharashtra’s environment officials were not available for comments. Amazon, Pepsi and Coca-Cola declined to comment on the modifications to the ban. H&M did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The latest rules also exempt the use of plastic packaging of medical equipment and drugs.