Government gears up to enforce ban on single-use plastic in J&K

Countrywide ban on manufacture, import, distribution, use from July 1
In wake of extensive damage to the J&K’s fragile environs due to polythene, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2006 had imposed complete ban on the entry, use and sale of polythene bags at tourist places and healthcare institutions.
In wake of extensive damage to the J&K’s fragile environs due to polythene, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2006 had imposed complete ban on the entry, use and sale of polythene bags at tourist places and healthcare institutions.File: ANI

Srinagar: With India implementing a blanket ban on single-use plastic items from July 1 this year, the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (JKPCC) today issued public notice prohibiting production, stocking, distribution, sale and use of single use plastic in the Union Territory.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change had issued notification No. G.S.R. 571 (E) on August 12, 2021 by virtue of which manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic (SUP) items shall be prohibited across the country with effect from the July 1, 2022.

Being an eco-fragile zone, J&K is confronted with environmental challenges due to pollution of water bodies especially by dumping of single use plastic and deforestation.

“We have devised a comprehensive plan to strictly enforcing ban on single-use plastic and issued public notice,” Regional Director, Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (Kashmir) Rafi Ahmad Bhat told Greater Kashmir.

In wake of extensive damage to the J&K’s fragile environs due to polythene, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2006 had imposed complete ban on the entry, use and sale of polythene bags at tourist places and healthcare institutions.

Subsequently, on June 18, 2008, the J&K government banned all kinds of polythene bags in the state by issuing SRO 182 under the J&K Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007. However, successive regimes failed to implement the ban.

“The ban on single use plastic is a watershed movement for Jammu and Kashmir. We have to make people aware about ill-effects of polythene and single use plastic on environment and make the use eco-friendly alternatives,” Bhat added.

The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee, (JKPCC) Jammu wing has also issued public notice to ban single use plastic. “We have set up special checking points to prevent entry of single use plastic into Jammu and Kashmir. We are focusing on stopping production, procurement and use of single use plastic,” said, Sat Paul Pakhru, Regional Director, (Jammu) of JKPCC.

As per the notification, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from July 1

The prohibited items include ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene, thermocol for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers have been banned.

The public notice been issued to inform all Producers, Stockists, Retailers, Shopkeepers, e commerce Companies, Street Vendors, Commercial establishments, Malls, Shopping Centres, Cinema Houses, Tourist locations, Schools, Colleges, Office Complexes, Hospitals and other Institutions to stop production, stocking, distribution, sale and usage of identified single use plastic items.

“Action as deemed fit under Environmental Protection Act including seizure of goods, levying of Environmental Compensation, closure of operations of industries,” the notice reads.

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