The Government of Maharashtra has announced that milk suppliers can use plastic pouches for packaging of milk until further notice.
The state environment minister Ramdas Kadam hosted a meeting with the dairy development minister and officials from the environment department and dairies representatives of Maharashtra last week, in order to find a solution to the milk pouch packaging issue. The dairy sector in Maharashtra was warned to suspend the sale of milk on plastic pouches from 15 December 2018.
The main motive of the meeting was to solve all the misunderstanding regarding the issue. Kadam stated that the department has not banned plastic manufacturers from providing plastic film for packaging of milk and therefore the dairy sector should supply milk in pouches as before.
The milk suppliers have only been old to follow a standard ‘buyback’ scheme of used pouches, which they have not done yet, he added.
He also said that milk pouches must have a deposit of 50 paise to Rs 1 each, and once empty, they have to be returned by consumers for recycling in lieu of the deposit.
According to the data on an average, about 85 lakh litres of milk is sold in plastic pouches on a daily basis.
The minister displayed a very cooperative attitude and was sympathetic to the concerns of the dairy sector, said Prakash Kutwal, secretary, Milk Producers’ and Processors’ Welfare Association.