The Tripura government on Sunday announced that it would phase out plastic bags in the state under the Himalayan Cleanup programme by August 15, PTI reported. The state’s Science, Technology and Environment Minister Sudip Roy Barman urged people to use biodegradable bags instead of plastic.

“Plastic waste damages marine life, contaminates soil and clogs drains,” Barman told reporters, adding that the government may consult an expert agency to decide on the way forward. The minister said cracking down on the production of plastic would curb the use of plastic.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had on May 25 asked the Agartala Municipal Corporation to use plastic waste to construct at least a 500-metre stretch of road and to start door-to-door garbage collection within the municipality area.

Khanna criticised the previous Left Front government’s implementation of a total ban on the production, use and sale of plastic bags for carrying items. “The plastic ban, imposed during Left rule, was just paperwork,” Khanna sad. “We want to implement it in the truest spirit.”

Maharashtra has already imposed a complete ban on plastic bags, starting March 18 this year.