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Maharashtra Plastic Ban: Good Or Bad For Common People

| Published on June 26, 2018

Maharashtra government has taken a brave decision of enforcing the ban on a variety of plastic items. The plastic manufacturing industry is looking very scared about their business and they think that it will result in loss of up to Rs 15,000 crore and nearly 3 lakh jobs. In a recent statement to PTI, Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India General Secretary Neemit Punamiya said:

“The ban imposed by Maharashtra from Saturday has hit the industry very hard and the plastic industry is staring at a loss of Rs 15,000 crore, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight.”

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He believes that this ban is ‘discriminatory’ and 2,500 members of the association have left with the no option but to shut shop following the ban.

In March, the state government had announced the ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials. A time period of three months was given for selling and using the already manufactured stock which ended on June 23. The problem arises that after this ban, what will the workers in this industry and how they will manage their daily lives. This will impact the economy in a broader way as it will increase banks’ bad loans from the plastic sector.

The plastic ban came into effect from Saturday and its prohibition extends to a wide variety of plastic items, including plastic carry bags, and even thermocol. The main aim is to cut down the pollution caused by discarded plastic items which harms our environment. Mumbai, for example, faces flood like situation every monsoon due to drainage lines clogged with plastic and thermocol.

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Talking about the decision, State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said that 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in Maharashtra every day.

“Fish and other marine life is threatened by plastic. Plastic is found in nullahs. The city was flooded in the past due to plastic (which chokes nullahs). Plastic is also responsible for emission of sulphur gas, which is carcinogenic. If the next generation is to be saved, plastic has to be banned. Seventeen states have already banned it and we are the 18th,”

the Minister said.

72 people were fined and a sum of Rs 3.6 lakh collected on the very first day of this ban in Nashik. Over 350 kilograms of plastic items were also seized. As per the new law, the fine for the 1st time and 2nd-time offenders will be Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. A third violation will result in a fine of Rs 25,000 and a jail term for three months.

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