PATNA: All e- Commerce companies, shopping centres, malls, cinema halls, tourist spots, hospitals, schools and colleges in Bihar have been asked to phase out the identified single-use plastic products before their sale and purchase termed illegal in the state.
In a notice issued by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, a part of the department of forest, environment and climate change, the manufacturers, dealers, distributors and sellers of the single-use plastic products too have been directed to clear their stocks by June 30 as the production, sale and purchase of these products will be completely banned from July 1 this year.
In December 2021, the department had announced banning the sale and purchase of identified single-use plastic items in the state. The decision was taken following the directions made in August 2021 by the ministry of forests to all the states to phase out the use of identified single-use plastic items in their areas as there will be a nationwide ban on these products from July 2022. But the state forest department was requested by the manufacturers and traders to reconsider and revise its decision as they were not prepared to deal with the situation when these products will not be available.
Some of these identified single-use plastic items, which will be banned in July this year, include ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic bags, polystyrene or thermocol for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweets boxes, invitation cards and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron and plastic sticks for balloons.
“This is a reminder to the people dealing with single-use plastic items to get prepared for the ban. People should explore alternatives to avoid incontinence,” Deepak Kumar Singh, principal secretary, department of forests, environment and climate change, said.
The ban on the identified single-use plastic items is important as it has been causing environmental problems, he added.
Kamal Nopani, CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) Bihar chairman, said traders have started working on this line. “People are trying to find out alternatives of the plastic items, which will be banned in the next few months,” he said. “In December 2021, the government asked traders to stop their sale and purchase. But, considering the season of weddings and ceremonies at that time and the high demand for plastic cutlery, traders had requested the government to give them some time to stop their sale and purchase,” he said. This time no such relief is possible as these products will be banned throughout the country, he added.