Mumbai: One year after the BJP-led government called for a ban on single-use plastic and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the issue of plastic milk bags would be addressed, accordingly now, there is a call to ban their use. It is quite likely Mumbaikars will have to revert to the old practice of carrying glass bottles or steel containers to buy milk. State environment minister Ramdas Kadam informed the legislative assembly on Thursday that an on plastic bags will be put in place within a month. However, there will not be a complete ban on all milk plastic pouches, since dairies have said they are willing to pay 50 paise per pouch to customers if they return it at the time of purchase.
Over one crore plastic pouches are discarded in the state daily, which generates 31 tonnes of plastic waste. While discussing the ban, some opposition legislators drew Kadam's attention to the fact that despite the plastic ban, milk pouches continued to be used. In his reply, Kadam said prior to the ban, Maharashtra was generating 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste. Immediately after the ban, this amount diminished by 50 per cent. "The one thing we have observed is the plastic waste, which is now being found, is coming from other states," said Kadam.
He made a shocking revelation. "Eighty per cent of plastic waste comes from Gujarat. I have personally gone to the border toll nakas and intercepted trucks carrying plastic," said Kadam. Kadam further said, 1,20,286 tonnes of plastic has been seized. "There are 24 plastic manufacturing companies, which generate 550 tonnes plastic daily," said Kadam. Answering a query about the quantity of plastic legally permissible for use, Kadam said, the government allows cement companies to use 3,000 tonnes of plastic.