By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: In what may be termed as a positive step towards protection of the environment, the State Government has decided to make Meghalaya a plastic-free State, with a complete ban on plastic carry bags from Sunday.
Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, while making the announcement on Saturday, has warned of stringent action against anyone who violates the ban.
The move to ban plastic carry bags come in line with the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.
“We are going to enforce the rule stringently from Sunday and any lawbreaker will be dealt with stringently,” Ampareen announced.
The Urban Affairs Minister was of the opinion that people should participate in the exercise by not accepting plastic bags from shopkeepers.
“Our officers will be in the market from Sunday keeping a watch on people to ensure that the ban is adhered to,” Ampareen stated on Saturday.
With the implementation of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, under which it is ‘mandatory’ for customers to pay for each plastic bag they obtain from the shopkeepers, the State Government has decided to strictly follow the prescribed norm of banning use of plastic materials which have thickness not below the permissible 40 microns.
The State Government, had, earlier directed all the municipal stalls and private shopkeepers to stop use of plastic bags with effect from January 1, 2006.
However, shopkeepers in the city did not pay any heed to the directives and the ban failed to produce the desired result.
This time, however, the government seems determined to impose a complete ban with punitive action against violators.