Pune: Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam has assured the Plastic Manufacturers’ Associations in the state that a committee will soon be set up under him to look for alternatives to plastic, following the plastic and thermocol ban in the State.
This was decided in a meeting held on April 16, in which six associations - Pet Packaging Association for Clean Environment (PACE), Thermoforming and Allied and Industrial Association (TAIA), Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association (MPMA), Plastic Bags Manufacturing Association (PBMA) and Marathwada Plastic Association (MPA) participated. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Industries Subhash Desai and Shiv Sena’s youth leader Aditya Thackeray were also present.
The government has already constituted a five-member committee to study proposals submitted by representatives of plastic traders and manufacturers. During the meeting, the representatives made four presentations, assuring they would take the responsibility for collecting used plastic items and recycling as per Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) under waste management rules. Along with this existing committee, one more committee will be set up with authorities from environment department and it will be headed by Kadam.
Among topics discussed in the meeting were recycling centres, production of bags with 50-micron thickness, stopping the production of thinner bags, reporting of defaulters, and bicycle carts to NGOs for waste collection.
Ravi Jashnani, President of MPMA, said, “This new committee will look over on alternatives of plastic. In the Mumbai HC’s order, it was said that there should be two members from each association. But Kadam did not allow any member to take part in this committee. They will themselves decide what will be the alternative of plastic very soon.”
The five members of the new committee which will study the industry’s suggestions are Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary (environment) and the chairman of the committee; Pravin Pardeshi, additional chief secretary to the CM; Sunil Porwal, additional chief secretary, Industries Department; Dr Anbalagan, secretary Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and Dr BN Patil, director, Environment Dept.