Maharashtra bans plastic and thermocol products

April 13, 2018

 

On March 23 2018, the Maharashtra Environment Department released the "Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) Notification, 2018."

 

The notification describes a state-wide ban of the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale & retail sale and storage, and import of plastic bags with and without handles, and disposable products manufactured from plastic and thermocol (polystyrene).

 

The Department defines plastic as a material "which contains as an essential ingredient a high polymer such as polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, vinyl, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene resins, polystyrene (thermacol), non-oven polypropylene, multi-layered co-extruder, polypropylene, polyterephthalate, polyamides, polymethylmethacrylate, plastic microbeads, etc."

 

The ban includes disposable plastic and polystyrene products:

  • Plastic bags

  • Disposable plastic items – cutlery, cups, glasses, containers, etc.

  • Disposable polystyrene items – plates, cups, bowls, containers, etc.

  • Non-woven polypropylene bags

  • Plastic pouches for storing liquid

  • Plastic wrap used for packaging or storing products

  • Plastic packaging for food items

  • Plastic and polystyrene decorations

 

​However, there are some exemptions. Specifically:

  • Plastics used for packaging medicines

  • Compostable plastic bags or material used for plants/handling solid waste

  • Plastic and plastic bags for export purposes only

  • Plastic used for handling solid waste – i.e. household garbage bags

  • Plastic cover or plastic to wrap material used at manufacturing stage/integral to manufacturing

  • Food grade/virgin plastic bags no less than 50-microns thick for packaging milk

  • PET/PETE bottles made of high quality food grade virgin BPA-free material holding no less than 0.5 liters and printed with buy-back price

 

The manufacturing and sale of banned items was implemented the day that the notification was released.

 

Producers must dispose of existing stock, either by selling it outside of the state or selling it to authorized recyclers or industries, within one month of the notification (by April 23, 2018).

 

The notification makes Maharashtra the 18th Indian state to ban the use of certain plastic items and establish the responsibilities of producers and the governing body.

 

 

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