Mumbai Plastic Ban: After struggling to implement plastic ban, state government includes tetra packs in ban list

Mumbai: While the State has not yet defined what is permissible and what is not, it wants to include tetra packaging and multi-layered packaging within the ambit of the plastic ban. Tetra packaging is used for various beverages and semi-liquid food items, while multi-layer packaging is used for packing chips, biscuits, etc.

The State is likely to give firms using tetra packaging and multi-layer packaging three months’ time to come up with a mechanism to collect and recycle used packets, failing which they will impose a ban. The move has come at a time when the state is struggling to implement the plastic ban in its original form. The notification to this effect is likely to be issued on Friday. Earlier, it had removed PET and PETE bottles used for soft drinks and packaged water from the purview of the ban. Tetra packaging and multi-layer packaging was not part of the original plastic ban announced on March 23.

“Tetra packs and multi-layer packaging are responsible for pollution and choking of drains. We have decided to bring them under extended producers’ responsibility, which makes it mandatory for manufacturers to ensure their collection and recycling,” said a senior state official. Following threats from retailers of an indefinite strike, the state environment minister Ramdas Kadam on Wednesday declared that retail packaging would be dropped with certain conditions.

“They can’t manage what is already banned and want to add to the list. These people have lost it completely,” said a retailer from Malad who had closed down his shop the day after the plastic ban was implemented. Moreover, the state is considering permitting the use of takeaway containers, but only for cold items. “We are considering allowing containers to carry only food items that need to be stored in the refrigerator, but their collection and recycling must be ensured by manufacturers,” the official said.

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