HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Come June 15, each of those carrying black plastic bags will be fined Rs 500 and producers and distributors the double. The latest move of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City comes as part of its crusade against the menace of plastic bags. “As part of our plan to ban plastic bags less than 20 microns thick in the city, we are going to charge Rs 500 every time an individual is found carrying black plastic bags,” said Rabin Man Shrestha, Chief of the Environment Management Division at KMC.
“Each of the distributors and producers will be fined Rs 1,000 each,” he said. KMC is planning to ban use of plastic bags less than 20 microns thick in all the 35 wards in Kathmandu from June 15. “We are also training representatives from schools and NGOs and ward supervisors to this effect,” said Shrestha. “The awareness campaign through pamphleteering and miking will begin soon. The use of low quality plastic bags is a threat to the environment and human health and keeping this in mind, KMC wants to encourage general public to use biodegradable bags made from paper or fabrics.” According to KMC, there are about 60 local companies in the city producing plastic bags and most of them are producing substandard plastic bags, as the authorities have failed to keep tabs on their quality.
“We are committed to implementing the decision taken in a bid to keep the environment clean and healthy,” he said.
Ill effects of menacing material
• It takes almost 1,000 years for plastics to decay and mix with soil
• Plastics with a thickness of less than 35 microns are the most harmful ones to the nature
• They are mostly dished out by the retailers and take-away food outlets
• Food is not safe in these and is prone to cross contamination— Agencies