Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Friday told the legislative council that Shiv Sena-led government will make the state single-use plastic-free by May 1. In 2018, the Maharashtra government had imposed a ban on manufacturing, use, sale, distribution, and storage of plastic materials that included one-time-use bags, spoons, and plates, among others.
“Single-use disposable plastic items such as carry bags, straws, cups, and plates are already banned in the state. However, these items are still found in markets,” Thackeray said, responding to a question by Ramhari Rupnavar of the Congress. “I have asked officials of my department to make Maharashtra free of single-use plastic items by May 1,” he added.
I thank the Minister for taking this issue up on my humble request and the Cabinet for approving it. An empowered committee will review the items of the ban and its implementation every 6 months.
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) March 15, 2018
Plastic bottles of soft drinks are exempt from the ban as of now, he said. The government has also fixed the buying rate at Rs 15 per kilogram under the buy-back policy of plastic items from conservancy workers, the minister said.
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda, and water bottles and most food packaging.
Last year, Prime Minister Modi had called on the nation to work toward ending the consumption of single-use plastics by 2022 on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
“Hygiene, protection of environment and protection of life were of keen interest to Gandhi,” said Modi, speaking on the anniversary of the freedom movement leader’s birth. “Plastic is dangerous to all these three goals. So we need to reach the goal of ending single-use plastic by 2022.”