Mumbai, June 24: The Maharashtra government will lose nearly 3 lakh jobs and over Rs. 15,000 crore due to its decision to ban the use of items made of plastic such as carry-bags and thermocol. The plastic ban came into effect from Saturday. Also Read - Maharashtra Government Urges CBSE, CISCE to Reschedule Boards 2021 Amid COVID Surge

Following the ban, the Municipal Corporation of the state collected 591.67 kg of banned plastic and a fine of Rs 3,35,000 from people who flouted the ban. The plastic ban which has led to job losses will impact the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Moreover, the bank’s bad loans from the plastic sector are likely to increase, according to the plastic manufacturing industry. Also Read - Maharashtra CM in Favour of Complete Lockdown? Uddhav Thackeray Holds All-Party Meet Over COVID Crisis

Neemit Punamiya, general secretary of Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India, reportedly 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. 15,000 crore, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight.” Punamiya called the ban as “discriminatory” since it left nearly 2,500 members of the association jobless.

The worst-affected section of this ban were the vendors who sell fish, meat and milk, a leading daily reported. People carried metal containers to buy the products. Consumers complained of inconvenience as the plastic ban did not make any sense to them.

The civic authorities stated that if a person is caught using plastic item, a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed on them. For second-time offenders, the fine is Rs 10,000 and for those who violate the ban for the third time, in addition to paying a fine of Rs 25,000, the person will be subjected to a three-month imprisonment. Responding to the heavy fines, many retailers complained that they will soon become financially unviable.

Ramdas Kadam, Maharashtra Environment Minister stated, “Maharashtra has become the 18th state to ban plastic. Plastic is a problem for everyone”. He added that the decision to ban plastics is for the betterment of the state.