The Maharashtra government’s ban on plastic bottles, which will come into effect on March 18, 2018, will cover government offices, functions and state educational institutes before it is extended to private institutes, DNA reported on Friday. State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam announced the new measures at a meeting with municipal officials in Mumbai on Thursday.

“Plastic bottles will be banned in all government and local self-government body offices and schools and colleges,” Kadam said. “Restaurants will be covered later. No plastic bottles will be served at government functions.”

An unidentified Environment Department official was quoted as saying that plastic bottles will be prohibited at the Mantralaya – the state government headquarters – before the statewide ban comes into effect on Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year, in March. “Mineral water producers can shift to glass bottles, or establish reverse osmosis units to purify water and serve it in glass bottles or dispensers,” the official said.

Kadam told The Times of India that the government had asked “big retailers” to “make alternative arrangements well in advance so that the policy can be rolled out smoothly”.

The state government will hold meetings with beverage manufacturers and industry leaders over the next few weeks and urge them to shift to environment-friendly options such as compostable plastic.