Maharashtra’s Plastic Ban: Everything You Need to Know

The world is becoming aware of the disaster named plastic and adversities linked to it. Many countries have implemented a complete ban on single-use plastics while others are on their way to follow the steps. India is also among the countries set to lead this trend. While the ban in the country as a whole is not in place yet but it has started taking the baby steps. Sikkim banned plastic bags in 1998 and recently in 2016, the packaged drinking water has also been banned. However, other plastic products are still in use.

Mumbai, one of the most happening cities in the country, became the first city in the country to implement a ban on all single use-plastics in June last year. In a notification issued in March 2018, the Maharashtra government prohibited the use of single-use plastic bags and also put imposed a ban on their manufacturing. Mumbai took a step forward and banned all single-use plastic items. Here is a brief account of the Mumbai plastic ban and everything you should know about it.

What all is banned?

The residents of Mumbai are required to give up all single-use plastic items and replace them with the safe safer alternatives. These include plastic bags, disposable cutlery, disposable thermocol products like coffee mugs, plastic wrap used to pack and store food or other items, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic packaging for all kinds of food items, plastic pouches used to store liquid, and all items of plastic and thermocol decoration.

What is allowed?

The ban exempts the small PET bottles, plastic packaging used to contain medicines, solid waste, and agricultural products, bags used by the plant nurseries, food grade virgin plastic bags that are over 50 microns, pouches over 50 microns that carry milk, and wrapping material used in the manufacturing stage.

What if you do not comply with the ban?

Any attempt to violate the ban calls for a penalty over Rs. 5,000 for the first-time offenders and will double to Rs. 10,000 for the second-time offenders. Anyone found violating the ban for the third time will be fined Rs. 25,000 and will face a jail term of three months. Further, failure to pay the penalty will lead to a prosecution complaint filed by the civic body in the court. The final decision, in this case, will be decided by the court.

What steps are being taken by the authorities?

A total of 210 staffers have been trained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in order to levy penalties and the list for the same is available on their website. The website also lists the collection centers for disposing of the plastic. As far as the alternatives for plastic are concerned, the state has not provided any yet and is counting on the residents to find them.

The plastic ban is one of the most crucial steps required to stop this harmful substance to destroy our planet. More cities in India are expected to follow the steps of Mumbai soon. However, as concerned individuals, all of us should start looking for alternatives to everything plastic in our life.

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