BHUBANESWAR: After banning single-use plastic in six cities last year, the State Government on Tuesday announced the extension of the prohibitory order to all urban areas from October 2.
Addressing media persons, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said single-use plastic and other plastic products will be banned in all Notified Area Councils, Municipalities and Municipal Corporations in the State from Gandhi Jayanti day. The department has also come up with a proposal to ban single-use plastic in the entire State, he said and added that it has been forwarded to the Chief Minister for approval.
“I am hopeful that the CM will approve it, following which we will be able to enforce the ban across State from October 2,” Arukh said. The move from the Forest and Environment Department comes after the Centre decided to ban single-use plastics across the country from October 2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had broached the topic during his Independence Day speech.
Meanwhile, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said his department has also asked all schools to organise awareness programmes to discourage students from using plastic bags and polythene.
In October last year, the State Government had imposed a plastic ban in five municipal corporations - Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur as well as Puri Municipality. Though it had allowed manufacturing plastic sheets above 50 microns, a blanket ban had been imposed on the use of polythene bags of any shape, size and thickness as well as water pouches in these six cities.
As per Government notification, there is a restriction on sale, trade, manufacturing, import, storing and transporting of single-use plastic such as drinking water packed in polythene terephthalate bottles of less than 500 ml capacity and cutlery made of thermocol, polyurethane or plastic. There is also heavy penalty for violation of this order. As of August 2019, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has collected `8.89 lakh fine from violators.