The Maharashtra government on Wednesday relaxed the ban on use of plastic bags for packaging by small retailers for the next three months, PTI reported. The relaxation will be applicable for plastic bags above 50 microns.

Representatives of small traders had submitted a proposal to the government to work out a mechanism to recycle plastic bags within the next three months, state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said. Small retailers also submitted a proposal on collecting plastic bags that they would give customers for 50 paise per bag, he said.

The state government had on Saturday enforced its ban on single-use plastic items, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had deployed 250 inspectors to penalise violators.

“They [small traders] have assured that the plastic bags issued [by them] will bear an imprint of whether they are thicker than 50 microns or not, besides the place of manufacturing,” he said. “They have also assured that the plastic bags given by retailers to consumers will not end up in garbage dumps.”

On Monday, the association of retailers in Mumbai had threatened to go on a strike to protest against the plastic ban in the state if their demands were not met. The traders wanted the government to postpone the ban till the end of the monsoon and allow grocery stores to buy back plastic from consumers.