Ban on plastic bags ineffective

Kathmandu, July 16

Plastic bags are still easily available in the market despite the ban on their use, sale, distribution, import and export.

According to the Department of Environment, the nationwide ban on plastic bags announced by the government last year has become ineffective due to poor monitoring.

Senior Divisional Chemist and Information Officer at DoE Shankar Prasad Paudel said the department did not have offices in the districts to check the use of plastic bags.

“The government should have announced a phase-wise ban as it had not been able to provide alternatives to plastic manufacturers,” Paudel told The Himalayan Times. He said the department was still monitoring market areas to check use of plastic bags below the prescribed standard.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Population and Environment is preparing to bring a new directive by amending Plastic Bags Control and Regulation Directive 2011. The department said the new directive had proposed to impose a ban on plastic bags below 30 microns across the country. “We are collecting suggestion from ministries on the draft directive,” said Shankar Prasad Paudel, information officer at department.

The Ministry of Environment expects that the ban would be implemented effectively if ministries and the departments under them work together.