Maharashtra government orders strict action on people selling, distributing plastic item

Updated: Jan 18, 2018, 18:11 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Whether it's the rapid climate change or choked drains or something else, but the state government has finally decided to start protecting the environment, as well as marine life

Plastic garbage spread across Dadar beach. Representation pic
Plastic garbage spread across Dadar beach. Representation pic

Whether it's the rapid climate change or choked drains or something else, but the state government has finally decided to start protecting the environment, as well as marine life. And to that end, it plans to ensure strict implementation of an existing law against the use, distribution and stocking of plastic items, including thermal and non-woven polypropylene bags, banning them completely. The products that will be banned include carry bags, banners, flex­es, packing bags, buntings, flags, plates, clips, spoons, forks, cling films, sheets used on dining table mats and torans.

Plastic prosecution
The state issued a notice on January 2, instructing authorities, including the collector, resident district collector, municipal commissioners, zilla parishads, and others to ensure strict implementation of the law.

The Food & Civil Supplies and Legal Metrology department has been given the authority to book violators under section 19 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The notification, issued by Dr BN Patil, coordinator and director of the ENVIS cell of the environment department, states that as per Article 48A of the Constitution, there's an ordinance that was made into an Act — Maharashtra Non Biodegradable Garbage (Control) — in 2006, which bans plastic products below 50 micron and 8x12-inch bags. The notification adds, "Shopkeepers, hawkers, vendors, malls or any salespersons found selling or giving such bags will be prosecuted and their liences revoked. To get the licences back, they will have to give an undertaking on not using banned bags."

Order compliance
The notification was issued after an order by Satish Gavai, additional chief of the environment department. It read, "It has been noticed that the implementation of the 2006 ordinance related to plastic usage has not been done precisely… Plastic goods are hampering public life as well as environment. Not just humans, but wildlife and marine life have also been affected..." District collector, Pune division, Rajendra Muthe said, "We are aware of the notification but haven't received it yet. Once we do, we will act on it."

Give these up
Products that will be ban­ned include carry bags, ba­n­n­ers, flexes, packing bags, buntings, flags, plates, clips, spoons, forks, cling films, sheets used on dining table mats and torans. Viol­aters will be booked under section 19 of the Environm­ent Protection Act, 1986.

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