Maharashtra to become a single-use plastic-free state by May 1, says state Environment Minister

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Mumbai, February 28: Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray claimed in the Upper House Legislative Council on Friday that the state would be single-use plastic free by May 1 on Maharashtra Day.

He clarified that plastic water bottles will not be banned and e-waste disposal scheme will be implemented throughout the state.

 Minister confirmed that single use plastic has been banned in the state.

He explained by saying that plastic is used in many ways. It is not possible to ban all plastics because there are no other options available for it. Though, single-use plastic has been completely sealed in the state. Orders have already been passed regarding to close 53 companies making single-use plastics. These companies have closed down.

According to the environment minister, the local administration takes stringent action on the use of restricted plastic in hotels, malls and markets.

“From the year 2018 to 2020, 84210 kg of restricted plastic has been seized and Rs 4 crore 54 lakh has been recovered as penalty. Other items of plastic use such as bottles, packaging etc. have not been banned. To prevent the use of plastic in the state, 5 crore cloth bags will be distributed. These bags will be distributed through various NGOs. This will reduce people’s dependence on plastics and will also help in maintaining the balance of environment,” added Thackeray.

The Environment Minister told the House that plastic bottles have not been banned yet as they are recycled and used to make T-shirts.

So, such recycled T-shirts are made and used for the players of Indian cricket team and other types of sports.

On the other hand, sculptures are made from Plastic of Paris (POP) during Ganeshotsav in the state.However,  The Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court has ordered a ban on the POP but it will be difficult to ban it before this Ganeshotsav because this is a religious and sensitive issue.

Aditya Thackeray said hopefully that the option of POP would have to be explored soon. The government will try to ban the making of POP statues on the same lines as the people taking cooperation in plastic ban.

“The e-waste disposal scheme will be implemented across Maharashtra. An early decision will be taken for disposal of electronic waste in the state. Currently, e-waste is duly disposed of in some municipalities including Mumbai. Similarly, e-waste disposal scheme will be implemented in the entire state,” confirmed Thackeray.

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