For first time offenders, fine of Rs 5,000. For second time, Rs 10,000 fine and for the 3rd time, Rs 25,000 along with 3 months jail.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government's state-wide ban on the use of plastic items, including carry-bags and thermocol, came into effect from June 23, Saturday.
For first time offenders, the fine will be Rs 5,000. For second time offenders, the fine will be Rs 10,000. Those who violate it for the third time will face a fine of Rs 25,000, along with imprisonment of three months.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the plastic ban can succeed only if all stakeholders support the move. "We want to promote responsible use of plastic. Therefore, we have banned the kind of plastic that cannot be collected, regulated and recycled," he said.
The chief minister said that the ban puts the onus on the polluters, but at the same time some exceptions have been made so that businesses are not hampered till alternatives have a strong presence in the market.
On March 23, the state government had imposed a ban on manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol items.
The government had given three months time for the disposal of the existing stocks. All kinds of plastic bags, irrespective of their thickness, tea cups, glasses, thermocol glasses, thermocol used for decoration, plastic used in hotels to parcel food like boxes, spoons have been banned from Saturday, state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said.
Claiming that 80 per cent of the plastic is manufactured in Gujarat, the minister said the government has made strict provision of three-month jail if plastic is found being brought into Maharashtra from any other state.
Kadam said plastic and thermocol used by manufacturing companies, materials used in hospitals like saline bottles, and boxes used to store medicines, plastic pens, milk pouches that are above 50 microns in thickness have been exempted from the ban.
"Plastic and thermocol used for packaging television sets, fridges, computers as well as raincoats, plastic used for storing food grains and that used in nurseries for plants and also plastic in which biscuits, chips, are packaged, etc have been exempted from the ban," he said.
Hailing the ban, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said although people will have to face some difficulty initially, they will get used to it over the time. "This decision will change the destiny of our future generations. I am sure this decision taken by the government will serve as an example for the entire world," he said.
Thackeray said work towards the ban on plastic was initiated in August 2017, when it was found that plastic had led to major water-logging in Mumbai following continuous downpour.
"A lot of plastic and thermocol was found stuck in gutters which rendered our pumping stations useless and caused flooding in the city. We have since been working on banning the use of plastic," he said.