Maharashtra government acted against 6,369 shops for violating plastic ban, says Ramdas Kada
The minister said 80 percent of the plastic comes into the state from Gujarat. He said he personally went to the Maharashtra-Gujarat border to take action against the trucks bringing plastic into the state
On Thursday, state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam informed the Legislative Council that Maharashtra government has acted against 6,369 shops for violating the plastic ban. The government has collected a fine of Rs 4,12,20,588 during the drive against the use of plastic bags, he said in a written reply to a question asked by Congress legislator Harisinh Rathod.
"As many as 273 factories manufacturing thin plastic bags have been asked to shut their operations," he said, adding that the government has destroyed 2,41,670 kilograms of plastic bags.
"Plastic bags above 50 microns of thickness are permitted for use. However, some of the plastic bag manufacturers have faced the government action and it has affected the supply of milk pouches to the dairies in the state," Kadam said.
"The state has given some extension to the dairies to come out with an alternative to the existing plastic milk pouches," the minister said. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Kadam said the buyback scheme for plastic milk bags will be rolled out in a month's time. He said this while replying to a debate on the issue raised through a calling attention notice in the Lower House. The minister said the milk distribution companies have agreed to ensure that the milk bags will cost 50 paise more.
"The 50 paise will be taken as a deposit and returned to the customer if he hands over the plastic bag to the distributor," he said. This way, customers will not be able to retain the plastic milk bags and dispose of as garbage, he said. The minister said one crore plastic bags are thrown on to the streets and 31 tonnes of plastic garbage is generated daily.
The minister said 80 percent of the plastic comes into the state from Gujarat. He said he personally went to the Maharashtra-Gujarat border to take action against the trucks bringing plastic into the state. "1.20 lakh tonnes of plastic has been seized so far. As many as 24 companies are into the processing of 550 tonnes of plastic per day," he said.
Sunil Prabhu of the Shiv Sena said plastic milk bags were a huge problem, while Leader of Opposition Vijay Waddetiwar said a huge amount of plastic comes from passengers from outstation trains. The Maharashtra government's ban on the use of plastic
items, including carry-bags and thermocol, had come into force from June 23 last year.
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