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Puducherry to ban single-use plastic from March 1

Puducherry government has decided to ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products in the Union Territory from March 1, 2019. The announcement was made by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on January 13, 2019 after a cabinet meeting.

The Chief Minister said that the government wants to gift a plastic-free Puducherry to the future generation and curb the plastic in the larger interest of the environment. He said a massive drive would also be launched to create awareness among the merchants and the public on the necessity of the ban.

The move comes after a nominated BJP MLA caused a flutter on the Assembly premises on December 31 by resorting to sudden dharna urging the Puducherry government to ban immediately – the production, sale and use of plastic products in the Union Territory on the lines of neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The neighbouring Tamil Nadu government had in June 2018 announced that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019, to “gift a plastic-free state to future generations”.

Plastic ban in India

  • Sikkim became the first state in 1998 to ban disposable plastic bags. In 2016, it banned the use of packaged drinking water in government offices and government events and use of Styrofoam and thermocol disposable plates in the entire state.
  • Currently, 17 states have pledged to ban the manufacture, use, storage, distribution, sale, import and transportation of many plastic goods and materials. The prohibition covers a slew of items including polyethylene bags, polyethylene terephthalate bottles, polystyrene products, and various plastic plates, cups, spoons and forks.
  • The governments of Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Maharashtra and Jharkhand on June 5, 2018 affirmed their commitment to make their states plastic-free. Besides them, the Haryana government also has decided to ban single-use plastic water bottles in all government offices in the state.
  • The Uttarakhand Government also decided to completely prohibit the use of polythene or plastic from July 31, 2018.
  • While Tamil Nadu government planned to ban the use of plastic items from January 2019, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio set December 2018 as a deadline to free the state of all plastic waste.
  • The state governments of Jharkhand and Maharashtra, on the other hand, sought a year to rid their states of plastic items. Jharkhand Chief Minister announced that the state would become plastic-free by June 5, 2019 and Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said the state would be totally free of plastic in the next year.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also urged the people of the state to curb plastic pollution on the occasion of World Environment Day.

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