June 29, 2018
A afterward decision was made on the state-wide plastic ban that was imposed since Saturday, the Maharashtra government has exempted retail packaging from the ambit of the ban.
“The decision was taken by an empowered committee that retail packaging of not less than 250gm will be allowed and notification regarding the exemption will be issued soon”, said environment minister Ramdas Kadam.
“We discussed this with the chief minister in the cabinet meeting on Thursday. But the exemption is being made with a few riders,” said Kadam.
Kadam said that they will insist that the retailer print his name and quality of plastic on the pack and the retailers would also have to set up a back buy mechanism in the next three months to ensure that the plastic they are giving comes back to them.
“If they do not fall in line, we can at anytime bring them back under the ban,” said Kadam.
Kadam also said that this ban has been lifted for only foodstuff packaging only as there are no other option t it. Loose milk sellers will not be able to benefit from this exemption, as people can take their vessels to get milk.
An expert committee comprising of five senior bureaucrats has recommended to the empowered committee formed to take decisions on the matter that such an exemption be made given the difficulty of enforcing the ban on neighbourhood kirana stores that use plastic covers to hand out items such as dal, rice and sugar to buyers. However, the ban is likely to be lifted off only for foodstuff packaging and not for loose milk.
Meanwhile, instructions have been given to stay imposition of fine on garbage bin liners and take away containers which restaurants give too are being re-considered and so penalty should not be imposed on these outlets as well, said a senior official who was present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, in yet another decision, bulk consumers like malls, multiplexes and marriage halls will be asked to set up collection centres in their premise so that the plastic waste generated in their premise can be collected in one place and sent for recycling.
Officials also said to avoid confusion, the environment department is coming out with a pictorial list of what is exempted and what is not. And massive awareness campaigns will be started regarding the ban.