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| Last Updated:01/02/2019

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UP governor pass ordinance for banning plastic below 50 microns

Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik on Sunday promulgated the ordinance ``UP plastic and other bio degradable (regulation of use and disposal) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 banning the use of plastic in the state. Stringent penal provision has been added in the Ordinance which has amended the Legislation banning the use of plastic passed by the UP assembly in 2000.

As per the ordinance for the users there is provision for one month imprisonment and maximum fine of Rs 10,000 for first offence. The second time offence the ordinance provides for 6 months imprisonment on conviction and fine of Rs 5,000 and maximum of Rs 20,000.


For manufacturers, sale , storage, transportation and distribution the ordinance provides for imprisonment of six months on conviction and minimum fine of Rs 10,000 and maximum o0f Rs 50,000.  For the second time offence the ordinance provides for imprisonment  for one year on conviction from the court  and minimum fine of Rs 20,000 which can go up to Rs One Lakh.


The promulgation of the amendment ordinance has paved the way for banning the use of different types of plastics  and its products plastic bag with thickness less 50 micron which are not bio degradable , polythene, nylon, PVC,  polypropylene, polystyrene  and thermocole.  The Legislation passed by the assembly in 2000 lacked penal provision against the use and disposal of the plastic and its various products. Besides causing huge financial burden on the state government in making arranging for the disposal of the plastic, it was the single biggest cause for the pollution in river, ponds, forest areas and water bodies. 


The official sources said the polythene below 50 micron has been banned while from August 15 next, all plastics and thermocols including cup and plates would be banned. In the last phase from October 2, 2018, all type of plastic and polythene disposals would be banned.  The manufacture, transport, storage, distribution, packaging, import and export and sale of these plastic products will be banned in a phased manner. 


For the third time in past three years, UP government has banned polythene and plastic from Sunday. UP became the 19th state in the country to ban polythene. Though it had taken the step earlier as well, but the government failed to formulate any rule leading to its failure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged to make India free of single-use plastic by 2022, and the majority of India’s 29 states have implemented full or partial ban.


Meanwhile, state Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said here on Sunday that the government was committed to banning all types of polythene to preserve the environment. “The government would be very strict on implementing its order and none would be spared violating the norms,” he said to the media here.


On November 18, 2015, the Allahabad High Court had directed the state government to issue a notification enforcing a complete ban on the sale of polythene across the state by the end of that year. In December 2015, the UP Cabinet approved a complete statewide ban on the distribution; manufacture and sale of polythene carry bags of 40 microns thickness and below.  Seeking to make UP an environment-friendly place, the government decided to implement the order on January 21, 2016, a month after the court’s direction to prohibit the use of plastics.


The ban was reinforced in 2017 but once again authorities failed to stop the polythene bag flow into the cities.  The Ordinance promulgated on Sunday comes following in the footsteps of Maharashtra government which enforced a similar ban after issuing the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling, and storage) notification in March this year. The Maharashtra government banned plastic from June 23 last, and announced that it would fine Rs 5,000 for the first offence, Rs 10,000 for the second, and up to Rs 25,000 and a three-month jail term for repeated violations.


Meanwhile, UP BJP has hailed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for banning the use of plastic material and     promoting the afforestation in a big way across the state. 


The BJP said the ban on use of plastic and call for ‘’one person one tree’’ affirms the commitment of the chief minister for the clean environment and keeping the rivers clean.


“The rampant use of plastic is not only causing pollution, its degrading the fertility of the soil besides causing the problem of water logging in urban areas every year during the monsoon. Plastic is not only a problem in urban areas it’s also causing pollution in rural areas while burning of plastic is also hugely adding to the air pollution and global warming,” said BJP spokesperson Chandramohan.


Like in other Indian states, plastic pollution has been a major contributor to pollution of UP’s rivers and urban areas are often strewn with plastic bags and bottles.  UP government had also declared the area around the Taj Mahal, a plastic-free zone.