Maharashtra joins growing list of Indian states banning plastics

Maharashtra has become the 18th Indian state to ban the use of certain plastic items and spell out the responsibilities of manufacturers, traders and government officials. In a 23 March notice, the country’s second most populous state set out rules for the manufacture, usage, sale, storage, transport of the products made from plastic and thermocol (polystyrene). Items banned include disposable products, such as single-use crockery, cutlery, straws and plastic packaging used to wrap or store products. There will also be a ban across the state on their use for decoration purposes. Among the reasons the state government gives for the action is “the leaching of chemicals from plastic products” and the “increasing potential for plastics to transfer chemicals to wildlife and humans”. However, among several exemptions, the regulation allows polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles made from “high quality food grade virgin bisphenol-A free material” with a capacity of at least 0.5 litres. But manufacturers and traders must develop a buy back depository scheme. The buy-back price must be clearly labelled on the bottle. Industry has protested against the ban. In February the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association (MPMA), Plastic Manufacturers Social Welfare Association (PMSWA) and others organised a demonstration, arguing it would have a detrimental effect on the economy. The regulation, which came into force on publication of the notice, sets out an implementation timetable. The prohibition on the production and sale of items is immediate.

Chemical Watch, 5 April 2018 ; http://chemicalwatch.com

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