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Using plastic bags comes with fine

  Users to be charged Rs 500‚ producers the double


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


Government should come up with an alternative to plastic bags rather than banning its use in this stage. If public find an easier, better and more eco-friendly product which can resemble the comfort and utility of plastic bag then they won't be using plastic bags. So, I personally think that ban and fine on plastic usage without any alternative and solution is just useless. Namgyal, kathmandu

An Idea. There are several companies in Canada and USA which specialize in recycling waste. They could easily give an answer to this problem. This will clean up the streets of plastic waste and create jobs. Sadique Nadeem, Kathmandu

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