Maharashtra’s plastic ban: India’s biggest burger franchise McDonald’s has come out with a decision to switch from plastic straws, cups and cutlery to wooden cutlery and paper straws in western and southern part of the country on the eve of Maharashtra’s plastic ban from June 23. Hardcastle Restaurant Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of McDonald’s fast food franchise, came out with this announcement. The franchise owns 122 restaurants in Maharashtra alone in the country. In total, there are 277 restaurants across west and south of India.
Meanwhile, from today onwards, Maharashtra has started penalising all those found using plastic products, including single-use disposable items. The Devendra Fadnavis-led state government enforced the ban after issuing the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage) notification in March this year. The government had given the manufacturers, distributors, and consumers a period of three months to dispose their existing stock and come up with alternatives to plastic usage.
On the one side, the environmentalists were ecstatic over the latest cabinet decision, the plastic industry slammed the government calling it “retrograde step.” However, with huge dependence of the state on plastic for various purposes, many are questioning over the success of the latest cabinet decision.
What is the plastic ban about and when was it implemented?
On March 23, 2018, Maharashtra government banned the manufacture, usage, sale, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage, import of plastic bags with or without handle, and disposable products made out of plastic and thermocol. Citing the environmental risks and harm caused to wild animals from ingestion or entanglement in plastic, the government enforced the ban with immediate effect.