The government plan to impose a ban on import, storage, sale, distribution and use of plastic bags less than 40 micron thick in the Kathmandu Valley is set to come into effect from Tuesday, the Nepali New Year’s Day.
Earlier, the government had announced that it would declare the Valley a plastic-free zone as per the instruction of the Environment Protection Committee of the Legislature-Parliament to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
A notice published by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in Nepal Gazette on March 1 said that ‘a decision to this effect was taken by exercising the power conferred by Section 7(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1997’. Section 7(3) of the Act states: “If it appears that the use of any types of substance, fuel, tools or device has caused or is likely to cause significant adverse impact on the environment, the MoSTE, by issuing a notice in the Nepal Gazette, can prohibit the use of such substance, fuel, tools or device.”
The notice said the ban aims to make the Valley clean and pollution-free. The ban will be effective across the Valley from Godavari Bhanjyang to the top of Chipudanda in the east, from Simpani to Panchmane Bhanjyang in the west, from Panchmane Bhanjyan to Chipudanda in the north and Godavari Bhanjyang to Simpani in the south. However, the government has set the thickness of plastic bags to be manufactured, sold, distributed and used in the country to 30 microns. The minimum thickness of plastic bags had been increased to 30 microns from 20 microns by making an amendment to the Plastic Bags Regulation and Control Directives, 2011 as per a Cabinet decision on October 13.