For effective implementation of the plastic ban, the extensive public participation is very much essential. The decisions have been welcomed from all parts of the Society and the citizen have taken initiative on their own and started using cloth bags instead of plastic. Public awareness, public participation and strict implementation of law and legislation will ensure effective implementation of the ban decision. Notification decision is available on the website of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board www.mpcb.gov.in. The decision taken by the state government regarding the ban of plastic will be a transformational step for the next generation of expatriate conservation. Plastic ban is not just a government decision but it should be a social phenomenon. In this move, we all should participate jointly to protect our earth.
Look around us and spot some items, they are entirely made from plastic or has some plastic ingredient. Our cell phones, our vehicles, and even the shoes which we’re wearing all may contain plastic or some part of plastic. As in chronological development of material like stone to wood, wood to metal, metal to ceramic and ceramic to plastic. Plastic era stand in a very critical line of question.
International union of pure and applied chemistry define plastic as – Plastics are the material consisting of any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, however, an array of variants are made from renewable materials such as polylactic acid from corn or cellulosic from cotton linters. Relatively low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, and imperviousness to water, plastics are used in a multitude of products of different scale.
In developed economies, about a third of plastic is used in packaging and roughly the same in buildings in applications such as piping, plumbing or vinyl siding. Other uses include automobiles (up to 20% plastic), furniture, and toys. In the developing world, the applications of plastic may differ — 42% of India’s consumption is used in packaging.
The main category of plastics include:
A. Recyclable Plastics (Thermoplastics): PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, PS, etc.
B. Non-Recyclable Plastics (Thermoset & others) : Multilayer & Laminated Plastics, PUF, Bakelite, Polycarbonate, Melamine, Nylon etc.
As per Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 62 million tons of solid waste is generated annually in India out of which 5.6 Million tons is plastic waste. In the state of Maharashtra approximately 23449.66 MT/D solid waste is being generated from urban local bodies. Generally 5 – 6% of waste is consists of Plastic waste in solid waste therefore approximately 1200 MT/D plastic waste is generated in the state of Maharashtra.
Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest. It requires several years for decomposition. Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, or humans. Often this includes killing plant life and posing dangers to local animals. Plastic pollution has become an epidemic. As plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants, it has the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution. Every year, we throw away enough plastic to circle the Earth four times. Much of that waste doesn’t make it into a landfill, but instead ends up in our oceans. It has been brought to the notice about usage and disposal of plastic are diverse and include accumulation of waste in landfills, water bodies and in natural habitats, physical problems for wild animals resulting from ingestion or entanglement in plastic, the leaching of chemicals from plastic products and the potential for plastic to transfer chemicals to wildlife and humans are increasing. Because of non-biodegradable plastic waste handling of municipal solid waste becomes difficult and incurs more financial burden and also due to burning such waste in open environment causes various diseases in human and animals, the Government of Maharashtra on 3rd March 2006 published the Maharashtra Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules, 2006 issued on the background of floods in the state in 2005. The said notification restricted manufacturing, usages, sale of Plastic carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic to size not less than 8 x 12 inches and thickness not less than 50 microns.
Palstic ban lesser than 50 microns
Despite of ban on plastic bags lesser than 50 microns there is increase in non-biodegradable plastic waste causing damage to the environment and health. The Government of Maharashtra, in exercise of clause 1 and 2 of section 4 of Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006, notified the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage). Notification, 2018 on 23rd March, 2018 and amendment on 11th April, 2018 and 30th June, 2018.
Govt. Notification 30th June, 2018
As per the said Notification, the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale & retail sale and storage, import of the plastic bags with handle without handle, and the disposable products manufactured from plastic & thermocol (polystyrene) such as single use disposable dish, cups, plates, glasses, fork, bowl, container, disposable dish/bowl used for packaging food in hotels , spoon, straw, non-woven polypropylene bags, cups/pouches to store liquid, packaging with plastic to wrap or store the products, packaging of food items and food grain material etc. is banned. Use of plastic and thermocol for decoration purpose is banned.
Use, purchase, sale, storage and manufacture of PET or PETE bottles made up of high quality food grade virgin Bisphenol-A free material and printed on it with predefined buy back price is allowed subject to certain conditions.
“PET or PETE bottle manufacturers, producer, sellers and traders under ‘Extended Producers & Sellers / Traders Responsibility’ will develop ‘Buy-Back Depository Mechanism’ with predefined buy-back price printed specifically on the bottles. They shall also set-up collection centers, reverse vending machine, crushing machines with linkages established with recycling units to collect and recycle such PET or PETE bottles. Traders/ sellers will buy back such used PET/PETE bottles with predefined buy back price.
PET/PETE Bottles of Drinking water, having liquid holding capacity of one litre or more, shall be printed on it, the Deposit and Refund Price of Re.1 or buyback price as decided by the Manufacturer. Drinking water PET / PETE Bottles, having liquid holding capacity of less than one litre but more than 200 ml. shall be printed on it, the Deposit and Refund Price of Rs. 2 or buyback price as decided by the Manufacturer.
Use, sale, storage and manufacture of drinking water PET or PETE bottles of having liquid holding capacity less than 200 ml. is banned in the State.
It is mandatory on the part of the bulk consumers of PET bottles such as hotels, marriage/ party halls, outdoor event locations, offices/institutions shall provide space for collection of plastic waste. It shall be the sole responsibility of the PET Bottle industries to ensure that these bottles are collected from retailers at depository and refund rate or buyback rate and are recycled.”
As per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 issued vide 18th March 2016, by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, manufacture and use of non-recyclable multi-layered plastic if any, should be phased out in two years’ time. Since, the two years’ time is over, the Manufacturers should stop use of non-recyclable multi-layered plastic immediately.
The manufacturer/brand owner/producer of recyclable multi-layered and paper-based carton packaging material using one layer of plastic /Manufacturer’s Association, shall diligently implement their Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) Plan which includes co-ordination / collaboration with existing Rag pickers / Scrap Traders, retailers for collection of plastic waste and its subsequent recycling and final disposal through their own established recycling plant or registered recyclers by establishing Producer’s Responsible Organisations(PRO), which shall be responsible for 100% integral Plastic Waste Management right from collection to final disposal.
Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) Plan of the manufacturer/brand owner/producer of multi-layered and paper-based carton packaging material using one layer of plastic shall be reviewed after three months from the date of issuance of this notification and on the basis of the outcome of review, further decision will be taken for regulation.
Exempted Product from ban
While Plastic bags or plastic used for packaging of Medical Equipment’s and Medical Products and Medicines are exempted from ban. Compostable plastic bags or material used only for plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture, handling of solid waste are also exempted. However, bags/sheets utilised for this purpose shall be prominently printed on it with “use exclusively for this specific purpose only”. The manufacturer or seller of the compostable carry bags shall obtain certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board before marketing or selling for this purpose.
Manufacture of plastic and plastic bags for export purpose only, in SEZ and export oriented units etc. is also exempted.
Plastic material/ thermocol used for wrapping the material at the manufacturing stage or is an integral part of manufacturing is exempted and shall comply the following conditions:–
a. The packaging material shall be more than 50 micron thickness;
b. The packaging material shall be made up of minimum 20% recyclable plastic material (except for food packaging);
c. The packaging material (except for export purpose) shall be printed with manufacturer’s details, type of plastic with code number and buy-back price ;
d. The manufacturers/ manufacturers’ association using material for packaging shall work together and create a buy-back mechanism and diligently implement their Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) Plan which includes co-ordination/ collaboration with existing Rag pickers/ Scrap Traders, retailers for collection of plastic waste and its subsequent recycling and final disposal through their own established recycling plant or registered recyclers by establishing Producer’s Responsible Organisations, which shall be responsible for 100% integral Plastic waste management from collection to final disposal.
Food grade virgin plastic bags not less than 50 micron thickness used for packaging milk is exempted. However, on such plastic bags used for this purpose, should be clearly printed with the price for buy back.
Wholesalers and Retailers of groceries and grain products are allowed to sell groceries and grain products in sealed plastic packaging material is exempted subject to compliance of following conditions:–
a. The plastic packaging material shall be more than 50 micron thickness with a minimum weight of 2 grams. The packaging material shall be printed with manufacturer’s details, type of plastic with code number and buy-back price;
b. Manufacturing associations for retail packaging material and retailer’s associations shall work to create a mechanism for the collection of the plastic through a buy-back mechanism and ensure the recycling and final disposal of the collected plastic materials;
c. The conditions mentioned above in vi (a) and (b) shall be complied for use and sale of plastic packaging material within a period of three months from the date of issuance of this Notification;
d. The Manufacturers shall comply with the conditions mentioned at Sr. No. vi (a) and vi (b) from the date of issuance of this Notification.
Plastic Packaging material used for products intended for sale in the State of Maharashtra through E-Commerce shall be allowed only for three months, however, they shall develop Environmental-Friendly Alternative for packaging of materials within three months. They shall create a mechanism for the collection of the plastic packaging material used during three months and ensure the recycling and final disposal.
Responsible officers our empowered for implementation of plastic ban in Maharashtra
The following officers are authorized and empowered for the implementation and to take necessary legal action under powers conferred u/s 12 of the provisions of the Maharashtra Non-biodegradable (Control) Act, 2006, as per their jurisdiction:-
1) Municipal Commissioners, Deputy Municipal Commissioners, Shops & Establishment Officers and Inspectors, Sanitary Inspector, Health Inspector, Health Officer, Ward Officers or any other Officer nominated by the Municipal Commissioner as well as Chief Officers of all Municipal Councils and any other Officer nominated by the Chief Officer are authorized to implement the provisions of the said Regulations in their respective jurisdiction.
2) District Collector, Deputy Collector, Sub-Divisional Officer, Tahasildar, Talathi and any other officer nominated by Collector, are authorized to implement the provisions of the said Regulations in their respective jurisdiction.
3) Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad; Block Development Officer, Health Officer, Development Officer, District Education Officer, Block Education Officer and Gram Sevak are authorized to implement the provisions of the said Regulations in their respective jurisdiction.
4) Member Secretary, Regional Officer, Sub-Regional Officer and Field Officer of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Scientist-I & II and Director, Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra.
5) Director, Health Services; Deputy Director, Health Services; Health Officers.
6) Director, Primary & Secondary Education Board.
7) All Tourism Police, Police Inspector, Police Sub-Inspector, Motor Vehicle Inspector, Traffic Police, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation or any other officer authorized by Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
8) Deputy Commissioner (Supply), District Supply Officer
9) Commissioner State Tax and all State Tax Officers.
10) Range Forest Officer or any other officer authorized by Deputy Conservator of Forest.
11) Any officers nominated by the Railway, Metro, Maharashtra Maritime Board and Airport Authorities
For implementation of these regulations, the person at village or city level, interested persons, group of people, welfare organizations, industrial association and members of all local bodies etc. can also register any offence with the concerned authorized officer, notified in these regulations for this purpose. The said registered person, group of people, welfare organizations and industrial association can help the officers authorized under the regulations, for providing information of violation of these regulations and assist such officers to impose fine, to confiscate the material made from plastic & thermocol and assist in registering the offence.
As per Rule 9 of the Maharashtra Non-Biodegredable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006, the violators of this Notification are liable for punishment of fine of Rs.5,000/- for first offence, Rs.10,000/- for 2nd offence and subsequent offence with an imprisonment of 3 months with a fine of Rs.25,000/-.
Empowered Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister (Environment), Government of Maharashtra will help in resolving any difficulty faced by implementing authorities during implementation and if required also carry out any amendment in these regulations with an aim to reduce the volume of non-biodegradable garbage generation in the State.
Expert Committee constituted under these regulations, will suggest the recommendations including amendment required, if any in the regulations to the Empowered Committee for effective implementation of the regulations and solutions to reduce the non-biodegradable garbage.
For effective implementation of the said Notification, the extensive public participation is very much essential. The decisions have been welcomed from all parts of the Society and the citizen have taken initiative on their own and started using cloth bags instead of plastic. Public awareness, public participation and strict implementation of law and legislation will ensure effective implementation of the said Notification. This Notification is available on the website of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board www.mpcb.gov.in. The decision taken by the state government regarding the ban of plastic will be a transformational step for the next generation of expatriate conservation. Plastic ban is not just a government decision but it should be a social phenomenon. In this move, we all should participate jointly to protect our earth.