Plastic ban in six cities of Odisha comes into force

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government enforced a ban on the use of plastic in six cities of the state on Tuesday.

The ban on the use of polythene bags, thermocol and similar plastic products has been enforced in five municipal corporations-Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur. Besides, the plastic came into force in Puri town.

After three months, it will be extended to remaining Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the state, official sources said.

As per an official order of the State Forest and Environment Department, no person can sell, trade, manufacture, import, store, carry, transport, use or distribute polythene and single-use plastic.

The concerned district collectors and sub-collectors have been directed to ensure the ban with some flexibility till one month (November 2) after which action would be taken against violators.

As per the order, no one can carry polythene bags of any shape, thickness and size (excluding compostable), drinking water packed in polyethene terephthalate bottles of less than 500 ml capacity and litter any public place with any plastic item.

Restrictions have also been put on single-use disposable cutlery made up of thermocol (polystyrene), polyurethane or plastic such as dish, spoon, cup, plate, glass, fork, bowl and pouch to store liquid and container of any shape and size except for packing and sale of milk as well as other ancillary milk products besides thermocol decorative materials like flowers.

Vendors will 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 a sealed manner.

The order, however, excludes plastic for carrying and transporting garbage and containers like cup for milk products including curd and ice-cream, polythene packaging materials used in plant nurseries, horticulture, agriculture and healthcare sectors like medicines, blood transportation bags, syringe, sample or specimen bags, re-sealable bags, medical instruments and accessories.

Manufacturers, dealers and major commercial establishments will have to undergo a minimum punishment of five years of jail term and fine to Rs one lakh for flouting the norms. Besides, small traders found flouting the norms could face a penalty of Rs 2000 to Rs 3000.