Plastic buyback delayed
imposing a ban on single-use plastic, Maharashtra was gearing up to implement a buyback scheme for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and plastic milk pouches beginning July 11. But, the move—which would have been the first of its kind in India—has been deferred till August after manufacturers failed to submit their plans for collection and recycling despite three months given to them for the same. Under the scheme, a deposit paid to a retailer will be returned on handing bottles or pouches back to the store. In a notification, the government has mandated manufacturers to take the responsibility for their produce by setting up collection and recycling infrastructure. But the lack of clarity in the guidelines for recycling, high deposit rates, shortage of recycling capacity and lack of incentives threaten the effectiveness of the scheme, experts say. The state is also planning something similar for tetra packs and retail packaging in three months even as it eased the ban against single-use plastic, just over a week after imposing it. The move of allowing e-commerce firms to use plastic packaging for three more months was blamed on intense lobbying by multinational companies and plastic industry bodies, a Reuters report said.