The state environment department proposes to ban production, use, storage, distribution and sale of plastic and thermocol items citing their adverse impact on the environment, from March onwards. To spread awareness, the department will publish a notice. “It has been proposed to ban plastic items such as cups, plates, glass, fork, bowl, spoons, flex, non-woven polypropylene bags, banners, flags, plastic sheets and all items with plastic covers,” said an official.
The official said though there is a ban on plastic bags below 50 microns since March 2006, it has not been implemented effectively. “The use of plastic items impacts the environment adversely. Plastic clogs the nullahs and leads to water-logging and health issues. Besides, some animals who ate plastic bags have died,” the official added.
The state environment department’s public notice asks district collectors and all the local bodies in the state to create awareness about it and to ensure wider participation of people and non-governmental organisations in its implementation. “We are also urging malls, shopkeepers, big traders and vegetable vendors, hotels and others to take a note of the proposed ban and cooperate with its implementation,” said another official.
The government notice on the ban does not mention anything about plastic water bottles. Earlier, the state government had announced that it would ban plastic water bottles in government offices and star hotels. “We do want to ban them in government offices and star hotels. Since the chief minister has asked to consult him about the plastic bottle ban, we are yet to take a call on it. The decision will be taken after discussing it with the chief minister,” said Ramdas Kadam, state Environment Minister.