A ban on sale, storage and manufacture of plastic came into force in six cities of Odisha on Tuesday on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 149th birth anniversary, PTI reported. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the government’s move in July.
The ban has been imposed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Puri, and Rourkela. It will be extended to the entire state in phases in the next two years.
Drinking water pouches, plastic water bottles with less than 500 ml capacity, polythene bags, disposable plastic cups, plates, glasses, bowls, spoons, and plastic straws will no longer be allowed. Blood transfusion bags, plastic used in nurseries, horticulture, healthcare, medicines have been excluded.
Vendors will not be allowed to use polythene sheets less than 50 micron in thickness for storing, transporting, dispensing or packaging food items, consumables, milk and milk products, and edible oil, Odisha Sun Times reported.
Those who violate the order will face a five-year jail term and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. Small traders who break the law will have to pay penalties between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. However, there is no provision to penalise people for using plastic bags.
“Traders dealing in plastic bags have been given time till November 30 to do away with the remaining products,” an unidentified senior official told PTI. “Appropriate action would be taken if anyone is found selling these items.”
The government is reportedly thinking about introducing a buy-back policy under which consumers will be paid cash for selling plastic bottles.
In the past few months, the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments have also banned on plastic. In Maharashtra, the policy came into effect on June 23 with the state government imposing fines of Rs 5,000 for first offence, Rs 10,000 for the second, and up to Rs 25,000 and a three-month jail term for repeated violations. The plastic ban in Uttar Pradesh was implemented from July 15.