Bombay High Court refuses to permit the use of thermocol during Ganesh Chaturthi

Following the ban on the manufacture and use of a large number of plastic and thermocol items in Maharashtra, the thermocol Fabrication and Decoration Association had approached the Bombay High Court with a plea to permit the sale of thermocol in the market during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The Bombay High Court (HC), however, refused to relax the ban.

18 Jul 2018 | By Amogh Dikshit

The association cited that the members would suffer huge financial losses if decoration material remains unsold. The petition claimed that the thermocol ban would hit 40,000 jobs. 

Senior lawyer Milind Sathe argued in the court that while plastic manufactures were granted a period of three months to dispose of their items, no such relief has been granted to the thermocol association. The association also submitted an undertaking stating they will themselves dispose of the material.

The State Government of Maharashtra, which had notified the imposition of ban on 23 March 2018 opposed the petition, stating that despite getting a three months window to dispose of the banned items, the petitioner had failed to get rid of the material and is seeking relaxation. The last day to dispose of the banned items was June 23.

The State Government also pointed out that “1,200 tonnes of plastic waste” is generated each day and there is no proper scientific provision for the disposal of plastic and thermocol.

A division bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla, relied on the State government’s argument while dismissing the petition, stated that the court cannot ignore the adverse effects of plastic waste on the environment. The HC also refused to accept the association's undertaking that it would take back the sold thermocol material and dispose them after the festival.