Global retailers such as Amazon Inc. and H&M are reportedly persuading to ease a ban against single-use plastic imposed by the Maharashtra Government last week. The ban by the state could rapidly increase the costs for companies that use plastic for its packaging processes, such as retailers, beverage makers, and sellers of bottled water.
Maharashtra’s emphatic move has come in-line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to entirely eliminate the use of single-use plastic by 2022. The Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai has said that they have collected over Rs. 1.3 million as penalty so far.
It is important to mention here, that a report by United Nations states that 50 per cent of the plastic waste is generated from plastic packaging which is thrown away within minutes of its use.
Reportedly, the representatives from these global retailers held a meeting ahead of the ban with Government officials, seeking relaxation in norms and urging the governing body to implement the ban in phases.
Neemit Punamiya, General Secretary, Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India said that the demand put forth to the government states that industry must be given at least seven years to find an alternate. “It is not something that will happen overnight, the people who have invested, the loans that needs to be paid and the people who are working for us will all suffer from this implementation,” he added.
Furthermore, Amazon and Flipkart refused to comment on the development, while H&M, the Swedish fashion retailer said that it supports the re-usage of plastic and is seeking Government’s response to simplify the rules and regulations of the ban.
Additionally, Ramdas Kadam, Environment Minister, Maharashtra recently said that the Government can provide relaxation to the department stores if they can make sure that their buyers return the packaging for recycling.