The state government intends to ban all kinds of plastic, flex material and banners irrespective of their thickness, disposable containers made of plastic and thermocol that are being used by hotels, plastic flags and non-woven polypropylene bags, from March 2018. It also includes disposable plastic bowls, spoons and plates.
Maharashtra state government is about to start an awareness drive for the proposed plastic ban soon, to make it more effective. This is imperative as the state environment ministry held a meeting of senior officials asking them to focus more on creating awareness. They were also asked to prepare a road map for the same.
The environment minister has already conducted region-wise meetings, covering areas such as Konkan, Aurangabad, western Maharashtra, northern Maharashtra, Nagpur and Amravati — with senior officials of all the local bodies and public representatives as part of the preparations for implementing the ban.The state environment department is also drafting a notification which will be the official announcement of the ban, stating the items. The notification is likely to be issued by the end of this month.
The implementation of the ban would be a major challenge for the state that had already imposed a ban on plastic bags thinner than 50 microns in 2006 to prevent drains from clogging, in the aftermath of 2005 Mumbai deluge. However, in its order to the local bodies issued on January 2, 2018, the state environment department admitted that the impact of the previous ban was not visible.