The government order banning plastic bags is likely to hit the Rs 1000 crore (Rs 10 billion) plastic bag industry in the state adversely, as most of the 1000 units in Maharashtra face closure in the wake of the ban.
Around one lakh people are likely to be rendered jobless by this ban. The ban will be notified next week, and there will be a period of 30 days in which the manufacturers can appeal the government.
Pending a meeting with the chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, sometime next week, the All India Plastic Manufacturers' Association is likely to go to court challenging the order, said Harpal Singh, president of the association.
With 1000 plastic carry bag units, Maharashtra is one of the most prolific manufacturer and consumer of plastic bags. Last year alone, consumption in the state was close to 8 lakh tonne. The all India production and consumption stood at 40 lakh tonne.
Already, most of the units in Mumbai have stopped production in an effort to sell off their piled up inventories.
"If plastic bags are banned without giving us any time to move to another product line, then it will not be easy for the government to find alternative employment for the workers immediately. It will also mean that most of the units face bankruptcy," said Singh.
Last year the industry's turnover in the state was Rs 1000 crore with the state exchequer netting Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) in taxes. Annually, the plastic industry in India is valued at Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) a year.
"The government's stand against plastic bags is not justifiable. It was the lack of proper planning and maintenance that choked the gutters of Mumbai, but it is the plastic manufacturers who are being blamed," said Singh.
Mumbai produces a daily 7,800 tonne of garbage, of which 40 tonne is plastic waste. States like Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Kerala and Karnataka already have restrictions in the use of plastic bags.
Most of the 1000 units in Maharashtra face closure in the wake of the ban. Around one lakh people are likely to be rendered jobless by this ban.