From today as per the Maharashtra Non- Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006 the state has authorised the complete ban on manufacture, usage, sale, storage, transport of the products made from plastic & thermocol etc which generates non- biodegradable waste.
The state has imposed a ban on use, sale, manufacturing of various plastics and thermocol products and permitted few of the items considering the necessity of the product with strict terms and conditions.
Amid all information by the government, the plastic ban scenario is not clear to most of the common people.
The products completely banned and products which are permitted in the state with terms and conditions are as follows.
What Happened Earlier
On 15 March 2018, the Maharastra state cabinet passed a decision to ban single-use plastics. What ostensibly began two decades ago as an environmental drive against polythene bags in Maharashtra—Mumbai in particular—reached its zenith, the imposition of a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastic items. This includes items such as thermocol plates, small polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, flexes and plastic cutlery. This was neither the first statewide plastic ban in India, nor was it a first for Maharashtra. With this ban, Maharashtra joined a list of over 18 states in the country, which have imposed a partial or complete ban on single-use plastics. Since the early 2000s, regulations across municipalities, such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), have banned plastic bags. Some regulations had progressively increased the minimum thickness of polythene carry bags from 20 microns to 60 microns.
What are PET And PETE bottles?
PET And PETE bottles are bottles made up of polyethene terephthalate (PET) AND polyethene terephthalate esters (PETE) that are used for packaging or storing liquid, including water.
Now, PET And PETE bottle manufacturers, producers, sellers and traders will have to develop a Buy Back Depository Mechanism with a predefined buyback price specified on such PET And PETE bottles and will have to set up Collection and Recycling units to collect and recycle within three months.
There was a serious concern about usage and disposal of plastic as the accumulation of waste in landfills, water bodies and in natural habitats, physical problems for wild animals resulting from ingestion or entanglement in plastic, the leaching of chemicals from plastic products and the potential for plastics to transfer chemicals to wildlife and humans were increasing.
The handling of non- biodegradable plastic waste of municipal solid waste was becoming difficult and was incurring financial burden and burning of the waste in open environment was harming the environment and leading to various diseases in humans and animals.
Non- biodegradable plastic waste was seen responsible for blocking drains causing floods like conditions in the urban areas leading to loss of lives and properties. Plastic waste and microplastics are creating dangerous situations to marine and biodiversity.
The decision to ban single-use plastics has evoked a great deal of anger and resentment amongst the people working in the recycling trade, as The fear of the ban being implemented has gripped the entire chain of recycling in Mumbai.
What compounds the problem is the non-recognition of the recycling sector; a refusal to understand how recycling and waste management production processes function. Across most of the major cities in India, there exists a thriving trade of scrap material and its recycling. This includes materials such as plastic, steel, wood, paper, e-waste and glass. In Mumbai, an important component of this sector is plastic recycling.
All things apart the question remains Will The Plastic Ban Serve Its Purpose? We think there are some things we need to wait and watch.