Bhaktapur, February 27
Minister for Population and Environment Lal Babu Pandit has said that the manufacturers of non-biodegradable plastic will be brought under the ambit of law.
Pandit said outlets that used plastic bags for everyday purpose must look for alternative within three to six months, adding stringent action would be taken against people not abiding by the rules.
Speaking at an interaction here today, the newly appointed minister pledged to come up with policies to ban manufacture and use of plastic bags. He further said vehicles without green-stickers would not be allowed to ply the roads in metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities from the first day of the Nepali New Year.
“Measures will be adopted to control air pollution. Vehicles emitting black smoke will be made undergo standard tests and brick kilns will be made eco-friendly,” added Pandit.
The minister’s personal secretary Wasim Aalam informed that the ministry had already issued directives to officials of the ministry to work toward this goal and to study legal procedures to implement the rules.
“This is a decision taken after carrying out a detailed study on usage of biodegradable plastic products. The minister is committed to work towards achieving results within the next three to six months,” said Aalam.
The government has imposed a ban on import, storage, sale, distribution and use of plastic bags below 40 microns.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has already asked the local bodies to enforce the ban on plastic bags under the existing laws.
It has issued a circular to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and all sub-metropolis and municipalities to implement the ban on plastic bags.
As per Solid Waste Management Rule 2013, anyone found disposing waste products without segregating them is liable to a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been collecting five to six metric tonnes of waste produced by over 300,000 households in the city.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.