As the Maharashtra government is all set to enforce the most talked plastic ban from today (June 23), Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said that the government is considering a lenient view for a section of Maharashtrians who have demanded relaxation on thermocol items during Ganesh festival.
Kadam told reporters, “Some Maharashtrian youths met me and requested that they be allowed to use thermocol items in the festival this year as they had already purchased these items. The empowered committee of the government, dealing with the ban, will discuss this issue and an exemption might be given if Ganesh Mandals give an undertaking that these items will be later handed over to the municipal corporation for disposal.”
Retail packaging companies have been given an extension of three months to submit an undertaking over recycling of plastic materials, he said. “Once they give the affidavit, their proposals will be forwarded to the empowered committee which will consider exempting them from the ban,” the minister said.
Ramdas Kadam also clarified that there will be no relaxation in fine. The fine for the first-time and second-time offenders will be Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. A third violation will attract a fine of Rs 25,000 and a jail term for three months. On March 23, the state government 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 gave three months for the disposal of existing stocks.