The plastic manufacturing industry has shared that the statewide plastic ban led in Maharashtra will lead to a loss of up to Rs. 150 Bn and about 3,00,000 jobs will be lost.
Nearly 2,500 members of the Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India have already left as they had no other option but to shut shop.
Neemit Punamiya, the General Secretary of the association exclaimed that the ban on plastic is "discriminatory". He said, "The ban imposed by Maharashtra from Saturday has hit the industry very hard and the plastic industry is staring at a loss of Rs. 150 Bn, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight.”
It was on 23rd March that the state announced the ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol (polystyrene) items. The Maharashtra government had given three months’ time to dispose of the existing stocks, which ended on June 23.
As per industry experts, the job losses caused by the ban will not only impact the state's GDP but also increase the banks' bad loans from the plastic sector.
A fine has been imposed by the civic authorities for those who do not abide by the rules and stop the use of plastic ban. There is a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first-time offenders and Rs 10,000 for the second-time offenders. For those who violate the ban for the third time would have to pay a sum of Rs 25,000 and would face a three-month imprisonment.
While the initiative to ban plastic is good for the environment and is for the benefit of the country, it’s negative impact on jobs and GDP makes it a double-edged sword. The government probably would have to look into alternatives for people who are suffering job losses and create other opportunities for them.
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