December 26th, 2015
Image Source: greenerideal
In a move intended to make Uttar Pradesh environmentally clean and get it rid of the menace of polythene bags, the state government has decided to completely ban the use of polythene bags across the state.
The ban comes in the wake of the Allahabad High Court directions on November 18 this year to the state government to issue a notification for the complete ban on the sale of polythene across the state. The Court had said that the polyethene bags cause a serious negative impact on people’s health as well as the environment and gave the state time till December 31, 2015, to issue the notification. The direction was given after Advocate General Vijay Bahadur Singh assured the court that it may fix any deadline and the “state government will positively issue a notification.”
“We have banned polyethene and its carry bags across the state. There was a court directive for making UP environment-friendly. We are also looking at alternative material that we can distribute to the people,” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting which Akhilesh, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, chaired. The administration, however, has not specified the timeline as to when and how the ban will come into force. An officer, however, said that the chairman and members of the UP Pollution Control Board will ensure the implementation of these orders.
The ban prohibits manufacturing, importing, purchasing and storage of all kinds of plastic carry bags and no shopkeeper, wholesaler or retailer would be able to use, store or purchase plastic bags. However, the ban will not be applicable for packaging purposes.
Recently, National Green Tribunal banned the use of plastic along the Ganga River between Gomukh and Haridwar. It will be effective from 1 February next year. It also slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamshalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.
Plastic bags are very popular with retailers and consumers because they are light weight, cheap and strong, but they take thousands of years to degrade and thus pose a very serious danger to our environment. Fortunately, many state governments have taken progressive steps in that direction by banning their usage. Uttar Pradesh is the latest to the list.
The Logical Indian community applauds the move of the UP government and urges all its readers to give up the usage of this hazardous material.