Maharashtra, the second-largest state in India with a population of more than 100 million people, is one of the top global leaders in the plastics industry. This Indian state has been in the news recently due to their latest announcement about their ban on single-use plastics which resulted in an uproar and a consistent flow of questions that need answers. Find out key details about this announcement in our post.
What Brought About the Change?
In July of 2005, the area of Mumbai suffered a very dangerous flood. Major local drains and marine outfalls all over the city were filled with plastic waste from the event, making it impossible for the storm water to drain quickly.
Maharashtra looked for a solution to this problem so that the area would never have to experience anything like that again, leading to the decision to ban single-use plastic bags. Since this initial change, Maharashtra has looked for more ways to reduce pollutants in the area.
The Ban Explained
There has been a lot of confusion as to what this ban actually means and how it will affect global markets and individual companies.
The current ban includes:
- Plastic bags, with and without handles
- Plastic and/or thermocol cutlery and plates
- Food containers
- Non-woven polypropylene bags
- Plastic packaging
- PET and PETE bottles
The plastic ban excludes items like:
- Plastic used in medicine packaging
- Food-grade plastic
- Plastic used to handle solid waste
- Plastic that is used for manufacturing and exporting services
- Compostable bags typically used for agricultural purposes
The government is planning on fully implementing the ban by January of 2019. In anticipation of that date, certain governmental groups have requested for time to set up a proper recycling infrastructure. Although this ban is just at the state level, the state plans on also promoting recycling awareness programs.
The Ban’s Effect
Many U.S. companies have been impacted by this bad, including such major corporations as McDonald’s and Starbucks, which have received fines from the Maharashtra government.
Another effect of the single-use plastic ban is that it has reached other countries as well, with many expected to soon begin imposing their own bans and enforcing tighter regulations. However, some markets are now self-policing to mitigate the effects of such potential regulations.
- In Canada, for instance, the plastics industry has set a goal to make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030. Another goal put in place is attempting to make all plastic packaging completely diverted from landfills by 2040.
- Additionally, many Canadian environmental groups aim to eliminate litter from single-use plastics like bags and cutlery by 2025.
Although these goals may seem difficult, it will be interesting to see the future steps taken to try to meet them.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the EU has recently asked the plastics industry for a deadline extension for companies volunteering to increase the amount of plastics they recycle. This volunteer program is being promoted throughout Europe in lieu of regulation. We look forward to seeing updates on their progress!
Choosing Shini USA
It will be extremely interesting to see how the single-use plastic ban will affect other countries and what kind of regulations, if any, will go into effect.
No matter what happens, though, you can always count on Shini USA to provide the best plastic processing equipment.