Maharashtra ban cuts plastic use but upsets industry

Six months after Maharashtra imposed its ban on plastics, raising fears of job losses and a sizeable financial impact on local industry, urban bodies in the State have reported reductions in plastic waste of up to 40%, officials said.This even as the State’s Finance Department is still studying the impact of the ban, which has resulted in thousands of manufacturing units for plastic bags shutting down or switching to other products.“The overall impact of the churning on the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) would be visible only next year,” Anil Diggikar, Principal Secretary – Environment, told The Hindu . “We are happy plastic waste has reported a drop of up to 40% in the local corporations.”According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Environment Status Report 2017-18, plastic accounted for 3.2% of the approximately 7,500 tonnes of waste generated daily in Mumbai.In March, Maharashtra announced a ban on the sale, use and distribution of plastic products. The plastic industry has since been rallying together for the dilution of the ban while pushing the government to go slow on any action on violations. Industry called the ban arbitrary while environmentalists welcome it as a much-needed action against the menace of plastic waste.

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