Anyone living in or planning to travel to Maharashtra can bid goodbye to plastic products, as Devendra Fadnavis-led state government will start penalising the usage of plastic products in the state from today – June 23, 2018.

Realising the importance of stopping the extensive usage of plastic products that is suffocating the planet, Maharashtra has decided to give it a tough fight and is gearing up for a stringent ban on plastic from today. Back on March 23rd this year, the state government announced imposing a ban on production of plastic items and gave a three month window for disposal do existing stocks and storage. To ensure that everyone is aware about the ban and items that can no longer be used, the government will conduct extensive awareness campaign for upcoming eight days, starting from today.

Because, from today, the manufacturing, use, wholesale of retail sale, distribution, storage, transport and import of plastic materials including one-time-use plastic bags with or without handles, PET and PETE bottles and other disposable items are banned. Also – plastic straw, non-woven polypropene bags, pouches and any other plastic used to store, package and transfer food items will no longer be permitted in the state. And that is not it, the ban extends to plastic-based packaging material and if you are in Maharashtra, you can kiss thermocol, a goodbye too as it is included in the plastic ban. Offenders of plastic ban will be fined with Rs 5000 for the first time, Rs 10000 for the second time and third violation will attract a fine of Rs 25000 and a jail term for three months; and the officials say that there is no room for any relaxation in fine.

The only plastic that can now be used in Maharashtra will be that used for packaging medicines and drug, dairy products, exporting goods and handling of solid waste. Besides this, Compostable packaging bags used for horticulture and agriculture purposes are also excluded from the plastic ban. For people travelling from other states to Maharashtra, one is advised to avoid usage of banned items and take cautions while disposing any banned product. While the ban is likely to hit plastic manufacturing companies in Maharashtra – and especially in Gujarat, the move is necessary to clamp down the usage of plastic and henceforth, strongly fight the looming plastic threat.