Joint Municipal Commissioner, PMC
On March 23, Maharashtra became the first in the country to impose a blanket ban not only on plastic carry bags, but also thermocol and multi layer packaging. The state announced a ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one time use bags, spoons, plates, 3 T and 3 T bottles and thermocol items. The government had given three months time to dispose of the existing stocks, which ended on June 23. On April 11, the government issued a second notification, extending the time to dispose of plastics till June 23, exempting 3 T bottles and asking traders to buy back the used ones. It also directed manufacturers to print the buyback mechanism on the bottle label. The notification is, however, silent on how traders could reach the recyclers. Certainly ban on use of plastic and thermocol has helped the municipal corporation, since the disposal of such items due to establishing collection mechanism and processing has been a challenge. ince it is low value material, seasonal variation in the market has resulted in spreading plastic across the city. egligence of users results into dumping and proliferation of plastic and thereby clogging of drainage systems. overnment has taken several meetings, communications about the plastic and thermocol ban, however changing the habits of the people in a short while is very difficult. I feel every citizen is responsible for avoiding the usage of plastic, thereby not only helping himself but also the environment. It will take time and effort to change the mindset of the people who have been accustomed to using plastic for many years. owever, the plastic ban is here to stay.