It’s been three months since the state government of Maharashtra issued a notification calling for a ban on plastic. Despite several protests by manufacturers due to lack of viable alternatives to plastic and recycling units, the government has decided to push its ban on a wide range of single-use plastic items and thermocol from today.
If you posses single-use non-recyclable plastic items and are planning to venture out with it, be warned. Steep fines starting from Rs 5,000 moving up to a whopping 25,000 will be imposed on those found with these items.
Also, the plastic items that have been exempted from the ban will come with a recycling surcharge to ensure they are not dumped or disposed of, but recycled.
Still confused about what’s banned and what’s not? Well, here’s all you need to know:
As per the government notification issued on March 23, the banned items include:
- Most kinds of plastic bags are banned. This includes the bags issued in shopping malls.
- Disposable plastic cutlery like spoons, forks, cups, plates, glasses, bowls, containers, straws, etc., by users, shopkeepers/restaurants or manufacturers are prohibited.
- Disposable thermocol cutlery is also prohibited.
- Non-woven polypropylene bags.
Plastic items that are allowed include:
- PET bottles used for cold drinks or water
- Milk pouches
- Garbage liners
- Bags with uses in agriculture, horticulture, nurseries, and medicine.
- Tiffin boxes, home-use containers, raincoats, tarpaulin sheets, pens, plastic wrappers/packaging for food at the manufacturing level.
Fines for offenders
While first-time offenders will be fined Rs 5,000, two-time violators will be fined Rs 10,000. Third-time offenders will face Rs 25,000 penalty and a jail term of up to three months.
Who will implement this ban on the ground?
Bloomberg Quint reports that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has constituted a 249-member squad to monitor plastic usage on the streets. All of these members will have printed receipts for fines.
Citizens fined for the use of the banned plastic items have to be on the lookout. Do not pay fines without these printed receipts. All the fines charged and the seized plastic items will be monitored by the Assistant Municipal Commissioner (Special) of the corporation.
“We’ll go as a force to specific areas that are chronically affected. Houses won’t be raided,” Nidhi Choudhary, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special), BMC, told the publication.
Remember this squad has the authority to conduct raids wherever they please without issuing any prior notice.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)