The increased dependence on plastic and thermocol products has resulted in the menace of environmental degradation. The accumulation of waste in landfills, water bodies and in natural habitats has resulted in damage to the ecosystem, including but not limited to, causing indigestion and suffocation in animals, various diseases in humans and animals, hampering of marine biodiversity.

In a recent notification dated September 23, 2019, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has released an Illustrated Guide Book for Plastic and Thermocol Ban Notification. The Guide Book through pictorial representations illustrates the details pertaining to the banned and restricted manufacture/ use of plastic and thermocol in the State of Maharashtra.

The Allowed and Banned manufacture/ use of plastic and thermocol items as demonstrated in the Guidebook is as under:

Less than 200ml drinking water PET/PETE bottles, having liquid holding capacity

Plastic mineral water pouch

PET/PETE bottles having liquid holding capacity of 200 ml and more than 200 ml

Plastic bags or non-woven shopping bags (with or without handle)

Manufacture of plastic and plastic bags for export purpose in SEZ and export oriented units

Single use disposable items made up of Thermocol (Polystyrene) or plastic

Plastic packaging material more than 50 micron thickness with minimum two grams weight used to seal grocery and grain products for wholesale/ retail.

Disposable dish/ bowl used for packaging in hotels and straws

Paper based carton packaging using one or more layer of plastic

Any compostable plastic except for plant nurseries, horticulture

Compostable plastic bags for plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture, handling of solid waste

Use of thermocol for decoration

Virgin plastic bags used for milk having thickness not less than 50 micron

Recyclable multilayered plastic, plastic items used for domestic purpose, recyclable plastic stationary products, use of plastic for packing medicines

Use of thermocol to preserve fish in fishery business

The guide book can be accessed here.

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