The Maharashtra government will meet dairy owners in the state to discuss the buyback mechanism for plastic pouches used to pack milk for consumers.
Shripad Chitale, member, Maharashtra Milk Producers and Processors Association, who will represent the association, said that the picture will become clear after the meeting with the state environment minister Ramdas Kadam.
Earlier, the association s secretary Prakash Kutwal had said that time has been sought from the minister to apprise him of the challenges involved in the implementation of the EPR (extended producer responsibility) scheme.The Maharashtra government has revived an earlier proposal and given them a couple of weeks to come up with a mechanism for buying back pouches from consumers. The 15-day deadline was the third such over the past year or so.
As part of the EPR scheme to implement plastic ban, milk producers have to inform the government how they will collect and recycle empty plastic pouches.
Earlier , Vinayakrao Patil, chairman and president of the Rajarambapu Sahakari Dudh Sangh, had said that the members had decided to oppose the move. He said he was unable to attend the meet with the minister and will wait for the outcome of the meeting. Patil had earlier stated that it was unfair to expect dairies in Maharashtra to come up with a buyback mechanism as no other state had given such directives to its dairies. He had also warned that if the government took any action against dairies for not implementing the buyback mechanism, dairy owners will stop the collection of milk, disrupting the supply chain in the state.
On an average, around 85 lakh litres of milk is sold in plastic pouches on a daily basis across the state. In Pune, nearly 15 lakh litres of milk is sold daily in plastic pouches. Kadam had said that milk suppliers have only been told to ensure a proper buyback scheme of used pouches, which they have not yet done.