Mumbai plastic ban: Officials still unsure what packaging comes under plastic ban

Mumbai: Even as the state government has decided to ban non-recyclable multi-layer packaging used by fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies with immediate effect, civic officials do not know what kind of packages and wrappers come under the category.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the implementing authority of the ban, said  manufacturers will have to prove that the multi-layer packaging used is recyclable. Such packing is used for branded snacks, shampoo sachets, toothpaste tubes and other products.

The MPCB will rope in experts  from the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) to conduct an exhaustive study on recyclable and non-recyclable multi-layer packaging.

On Monday, the state government decided to bring unrecyclable multi-layer packaging under the ambit of the plastic ban. It has allowed recyclable multi-layer packaging on the condition that manufacturers follow Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) — rules laid down under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, issued by Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). This will ensure that plastic waste is collected and recycled.

P Anbalagan, member secretary of MPCB, said they would ask FMCG firms to self-certify and prove that the multi-layer material used by them can be recycled. “We will also rope in institutions to conduct a study on multi-layer packaging and identify how many are non-recyclable. Based on the report, the non-recyclable ones will be banned,” said Anbalagan.

Companies using recyclable multi-layer packaging will have to follow EPR. To ensure this, an inventory of each firm will be undertaken. “We will train MPCB officials and urban local bodies and conduct random checks,” added Anbalagan.

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