Earlier this year, the Maharashtra government decided to impose a ban on disposable plastic items, making it the 18th state in the country to take such a drastic step towards environment conservation. The decision taken on 23rd March was followed by a stay order of three months during which manufacturers, distributors, and retailers could get rid of their plastic items and find alternative sources for the same. Following which many restaurants have already reduced their plastic waste generation. As these three months come to an end, it’s time to brush up on the A to Z of this plastic ban that’s now going to become a huge part of our lives. So here’s all the information you need.
To begin with, plastic bags (the most convenient of the lot) are a big no-no. Anyone found manufacturing, transporting, distributing, selling, storing, or using plastic bags will be fined heavily. If you’re in the habit of using any disposable plastic items like cups, glasses, plates, bowls, containers, dishes, forks, or packaging material that’s made of plastic—then it’s best to get rid of them as well. You can do so by calling on BMC’s toll-free number (1800-222-357).
As the three months come to an end today, you can be fined for using any of the above items starting tomorrow (24 June). The monetary fine for violating the plastic ban can range anywhere between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 25,000, and even 3 months of imprisonment in case of severe non-compliance with the provisions of Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage Control Act 2006.
There was much ambiguity regarding the actual implementation of the ban. However, now that the D-day is here, we seem to have some clarity on the issue. A team of 250 inspectors will be deployed to keep a check on shops, hawkers, malls, and public spaces and penalise anyone who is caught violating the ban. Moreover, the BMC is also going to be organising a public exhibition this weekend to help citizens discover alternatives for plastic at NSCI in Worli.
Life certainly won’t be as easy hereon, but what’s a little bit of inconvenience when it comes to saving the Earth, right?
Feature Image Courtesy: India Today
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