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‘Cow-killer’ polythene bags to be banned in Madhya Pradesh from May 1

National Green Tribunal in a case filed in 2013 had directed the state government to ban polythene in the state.

bhopal Updated: Apr 11, 2017 22:52 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Polythene ban,Plastic bags,National Green Tribunal
Consumption of polythene bags leads to a large number of cow deaths in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country. (Hindustan Times File Photo )

Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to ban polythene bags across the state from May 1 as its consumption lead to a large number of cow deaths and other environmental problems.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, state government spokesperson and parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra said, “A large number of cows get killed after eating polythene bags. This along with some other facts has been revealed in a survey. So we have approved banning of polythene bags in the state.”

National Green Tribunal in a case filed by Sandeep Lahariya in 2013 had repeatedly directed the state government to ban polythene in the state. In May 2015 chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan even directed officials to impose ban on polythene in entire state from January 1, 2016.

Sachin Verma, who was the counsel of the state government in the NGT case, told HT that Green Tribunal in its judgment in 2014 had directed the state to ensure ban on polythene below 40 microns.

“Later in the compliance hearings, the NGT stressed that MP should take a decision on total ban on polythene carry bags as in Rajasthan, where a total ban had been imposed in 2010, and Chhattisgarh where it has been enforced since January 1, 2015”, he said.

Verma said that the cabinet decision will apply on all polythene bags irrespective of whether they are less or above 40 microns in thickness.

Apart from cow protection, the cabinet took into consideration Narmada river campaign, Swachh Bharat mission while giving nod to the ban.

This ban, however, will not be applicable to packing materials like water pouches and pouches for country made liquor, Verma said

In December 2014, MP government had expressed its concern with regard to imposing total ban on poly carry bags during the hearing in the case.

But the NGT noted that the matter was under consideration before the Supreme Court in a case in which all the states have been issued notices for considering total ban on all poly carry bags (not restricted to 40 microns).

Environmentalist Subhash Pandey said it was a good decision which should have been taken long back.

“Polythene bags besides harming environment because of their non-biodegradability, also end up choking the drains and nallahs and also kill cows”, he said.

In February 2011, the ministry of environment and forests had notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 to replace the earlier Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999 (amended in 2003).

The new rules banned all plastic carry bags less than 40 microns in thickness and asked the states to enforce it.

First Published: Apr 11, 2017 22:52 IST