No one in Kerala will be allowed to use single use plastics from January 1, 2020 with the state government on Thursday taking a decision in this regard. PlThe decision to ban the manufacture and sale of single use plastic has been taken on the recommendations of an expert committee to suggest ways to bring down the use of plastics.
The decision was taken in the cabinet meeting of November 21. Announcing the decision, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the decision was taken after realising that abandoned plastic things were growing into a major health and environmental hazard.
Plastic sheets and carry bags, cooling films, plastic cups, thermocol, plastic plates and Styrofoam based fancy items are among the plastic items that are being banned. The single use plastic also includes plastics used for packaging finished foods, goods, pharmaceuticals and agriculture products. Water pouches, pet bottles, juice packs, plastic garbage bags, plastic packets and PVC flex materials are also banned.
The Chief Minister said that stringent action would be taken against those who defy the ban under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The government has also decided to impose a fine of Rs 10,000 on manufacturers, wholesale and retail sellers who defy the ban. And a second time violation would increase the fine to Rs 25,000 and a third violation would increase the fine to Rs 50,000 and closure of the establishment.
Till now, eighteen states have banned plastic bags. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have banned single-use plastics.