Himachal imposes complete ban on polythene bags

"A total ban on the use of plastic bags would be implemented in the state from Oct 2," Nadda told IANS.  He said the traders were informed over a month ago and asked to switch to biodegradable bags.

"We (the government) are encouraging the public to use cotton and jute bags so that the complete ban (on polythene bags) can be imposed. We will also provide paper and jute bags to the tourists visiting the state as a symbolic gesture to mark Gandhi Jayanti (Friday)," he added.

The ban on use of coloured polythene bags, manufactured from recycled plastic was initially imposed on Jan 1, 1999. Later in 2004, the ban was imposed under Section 7(h) of the State Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Rules on the use of small polythene bags with thickness less than 70 microns and size less than 18"x12".

Under the Himachal Pradesh Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act of 1995, the violator would pay a fine up to Rs.25,000. The minimum fine has been fixed at Rs.1,000.
Himachal Pradesh would soon have its master plan to tackle critical areas of environmental degradation.

"The master plan will include a baseline study of the environmental vulnerabilities and details of measures to tackle problems -- mainly related to urban solid waste, industrial pollution and ecological degradation caused by hydropower projects," Nadda said.

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