Bhubaneswar: Following the decision of the Government of India to ban single use plastic from Gandhi Jayanti this year, Odisha Government has decided to implement the ban strictly. Th”e Forest and Environment Department has issued a Notification in this regard which contains the detailed modalities.
According to the Notification, plastics are non-biodegradable and cause threat to the ecological system as they reduce the fertility of soil and thereby hamper the growth of plants, choke drains and sewer resulting in overflowing gutters and if swallowed by cattle, they may cause death by obstructing their intestine. And whereas, the color pigments contaminate food products wrapped in them and cause health hazards and some of it are even carcinogenic. Plastic products take hundreds of years for degradation, as they are not biodegradable like paper bags, they also block the rainwater infiltrating into the soil hindering recharge of ground water.
When discarded, the plastic bags can get filled with rainwater offering ideal breeding ground for vector borne diseases like malaria and burning of plastics also releases most carcinogenic and toxic substances like dioxins, furans and hydrogen cyanide, which pollute air as well as cause severe and chronic health problems.
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), the State Government issued the following directions:
1. (a) No person, by himself or through another, shall knowingly or otherwise, sell, trade, manufacture, import, store, carry, transport. use or distribute the following within all municipal limits in the State except Municipal Corporation Limits of Bhubaneswar. Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri Municipality.
(i) Polythene carry bags of any shape, thickness and size (excluding compostable);
(ii) Bottled drinking water Polyethylene Terephthaiate (PET/PETE) bottles of less than 200ml capacity;
(iii) Single use disposable cutleries made up of thermocol (polystyrene). polyurethane and the like; or plastic such as dish, spoon, cup, plate, glass. fork. bowl, pouch to store liquid and container etc. of any size and shape excepting for packing and selling of milk and other ancillary milk products; and
(iv) Thermocol decorative materials (flowers and the like);
(b) Vendors shall not be allowed to use polythene sheets of less than 50 micron thickness for storing, transporting, dispensing or packaging of any article or commodity or food items, consumables, packaging of milk and milk products and edible oil in sealed manner. This excludes any plastic for carrying and transporting garbage and containers like cup (or milk products including curd and ice-cream etc., polythene packing materials used In healthcare sector like medicines, blood transportation bags, syringe, sample or specimen bags, resealable bags, medical instruments and accessories etc.
(c). No person shall knowingly or otherwise, litter any public place with any plastic item allowed under this Order.
2. The authorities or owners of places of religious worship or institutions, hotels and restaurants, cafe, mobile food counters or vans. caterers and other such places like marriage or party halls, offices or Institutions and the outdoor event managers located at the places mentioned In sub-Para (a) of Para. 1 shall be responsible for ensuring strict compliance of the aforesaid directions and they shall provide space for collection of plastic waste within their campus and returning the same to the concerned manufacturer or retailers or supplier.
3. Manufacturers or Producers of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET/PETE) bottles for bottled drinking water and soft drinks shall take back the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET/PETE) bottles and plastic waste respectively through the same retail sales network under mutually agreed terms and conditions based on Extended Producer’s Responsibility.
4. The Municipal Commissioners or the Executive Officers of Urban Local Bodies and other concerned officers or agencies as nominated, shall make wide publicity of all provisions of this Order through Press and electronic media.
5. The Municipal Commissioner or the Executive Officer shall take adequate steps to implement the restrictions specified under this Order and shall make suitable arrangements for collection and disposal or recycling of any type of plastics item within their jurisdiction.
6. District Collector, Sub-divisional Magistrate, Member-Secretary of State Pollution Control Board, who are empowered to take cognizance of offence under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 shall enforce the provisions of this Order in their respective jurisdiction. The District Collector shall Involve Additional District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, Divisional Forest Officer, Tahasildar, Regional Officer of State Pollution Control Board, Officers of Municipal Corporation/Municipality and any other Officer nominated by him/her, for enforcing the Order.
7. The Cinema Hall owners or proprietors shall exhibit slides in their halls regarding the restriction of plastic use in the State for a period of one year from the date of Issue of this Order.
8. The State Pollution Control Board shall ensure closure of the industries producing plastic products which are not confirming to the stipulations of this Order within the Municipal Corporations/Municipalities to which this order applies.
9. Centre for Environmental Studies, Odisha shall make necessary public awareness campaign regarding consequences of indiscriminate use and littering of plastics and restrictions imposed under this Order through Non-Government Organizations and Eco clubs. Any person including the vendor possessing any materials, which are prohibited under this Order, shall dispose of those articles within one month from the date of publication of the Order.
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