Agartala, June 28 (IANS) The Tripura government has imposed a total ban on the manufacture, import, storage and sale of plastic bags in the state in view of its harmful effect on the environment, an official said here Saturday.
The decision was made under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Plastics Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) chairman Mihir Deb told IANS.
A public notification about it was issued here last week and a fine ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.1,000 has been fixed.
Deb said: "For repeated violation of the ban, the authority would impose a fine of Rs.1 lakh or jail for a maximum term of five years or both."
In case of any violation of the government order by any institution or by any industry or by any shop, the TSPCB would issue closure order and would also issue order for disconnection of electricity of that institution or industry or shop.
"The government has been observing that the plastic bags are littered around and pose a detrimental effect on the environment," said Deb, an academician.
"The plastic bags also block gutters, sewers and drains, resulting in unhygienic environment and health-related problems," he added.
According to him, aquatic and terrestrial animals die after consuming the plastic bags. He added these bags arrest the recharging ground water aquifers while harmful chemicals and plastic colours contaminate the soil and water and choke the organisms.
"Irresponsibly trashing of the plastic bags also affects the growth of roots, plants and creatures which causes long-term effect on ecology and environment," Deb said.
The state government had originally imposed the ban on plastic bags from January, but challenging the state government's decision, the All India Plastic Industries Association filed a writ petition in the Tripura High Court, which upheld the decision of the state government.
After the high court's recent verdict, the science, technology and environment department issued a fresh notification June 20.