Kerala govt bans manufacturing, sale of single-use plastic from January 1

Photo: Reuters

Kerala Government, in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, decided to ban the manufacturing, sale and storage of single-use plastic products from January 1, 2020.

"Strict action will be taken against those who violate the Prohibition Act, 1986. Collectors, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Pollution Control Board Officers, Local Government Secretaries and Central Government appointed officials under the Environmental Protection Act are entitled to take action," the government said in a release.

As per the decision, plastic manufacturers, wholesalers and small sellers who violate the law can be fined Rs 10,000 for the first time and Rs 25,000 for violating the law again.

"Failure to comply with the law will result in a fine of Rs 50,000 and cancellation of working permit. This has been vested in local authority secretaries and pollution control board officials," the release said.

Regardless of thickness, carry bag, sheets, cooling film, plates, cups, thermocol and styrofoam, cups, plates, spoons, forks, straws, dishes, stirrers, flags, water pouches, juice packets, drinking pet bottles, garbage bag, PVC Flux Materials and packets made of plastic are banned.

However, plastic manufactured for export, plastics used in the health care industry, and materials made from compostable plastics are exempted from the ban.

According to Extended Producers Responsibility Plan, Beverages Corporation, KeralaFed, Milma and Kerala Water Authority are obliged to pay back the plastic bottles and covers sold by the consumers.

As per the solid waste management rules of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, five per cent of the land in industrial parks should be earmarked for waste management and recycling. The Department of Industry will promote units that produce eco-friendly bags instead of that made of plastic.

The Kerala government had appointed an expert technical committee to advise on how to control the use of plastic substances and based on the recommendations made by the committee, the decision was taken. The government has also banned the use of flux boards in the state as well.

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