SC ‘favours’ plan to ban plastic bags

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
SC ‘favours’ plan to ban plastic bags

Apr 7, 2015-

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday dismissed the request for a stay order against the implementation of the government decision to ban bags in the Kathmandu valley. The government is set to bring the decision into effect next week.

A joint bench of Justices Sushila Karki and Gopal Parajuli rejected the writ petition filed by the Nepal Plastic Manufacturers’ Association around two weeks ago stating that the interim stay order was not needed against the ban as it is related to public health concern.

The association had filed the writ petition demanding the SC to issue a stay order against the government’ decision to ban the import, storage, sale and use of plastic bags stating that the plan was made in haste and without necessary preparations, including the choice for alternatives to plastics.

According to Mahendra Man Gurung, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), the apex court’s verdict comes as a support for the government’s initiative to put an end in use of plastic bags that are toxic to human health. “There is no way that we would compromise public health. We have decided to ban the production and use of plastic bags and not other plastic materials, so there is no point in the manufacturers’ claim that the ban will severely affect their businesses,” he said.

However, retracting its earlier decision to ban the use of all forms of plastic bags, the Ministry has now decided to allow the use of plastic bags beyond 40 microns in thickness. On April 1, the government published a notice in Nepal Gazette allowing the use of thicker bags.

The Parliamentary Committee on Environment Protection as well as the Cabinet and the MoSTE had decided to put a complete ban on the use of any types of plastic bags inside the Valley starting April 14. It is estimated that around 300 plastic operating industries produce around 30,000 tonnes of plastic bags across the country.

Published: 08-04-2015 08:43

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