Mumbai, Nov 17: The Maharashtra government, in a bid to become plastic-free state from March 2018, has banned packaged water bottles in Mantralaya and other government offices. Reports say, plastic bottles of mineral water have also been banned at hotels and the regulation will soon be imposed on restaurants.

Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam, while informing about the plan, said that a team will be sent to six Indian states of the country that have achieved plastic-free status, including Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, to study their model.

Following the golden rule – charity begins at home – the government first imposed the ban on packaged drinking water bottles at Mantralaya and other government offices where water is served in PET plastic bottles. “We should start from home (Mantralaya) and when we can implement it here, we can ask the others to follow,” a senior official was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

The minister, adding further, said that the government will make the use of the funds under the district and development committees (DPDC) to sensitise the public about the measure.

Earlier in 2005, the government had imposed ban on plastic bags less than 50 microns thick after 2005 deluge that claimed several lives in Mumbai and its subrubs. However, the implementation of the ban has not been up to the mark.

Another media report claims that the state government may eventually, ban the sale of milk packaged in polythene bags, asking dairies and manufacturers to shift to glass bottles or sell milk loose.