SC directs govt to ban plastic bags thinner than 40 microns

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court has issued an interim order directing the government to put a complete ban on the use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns within 21 days.

Hearing a writ petition filed by advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha on behalf of Environmental Law Society Nepal, a single bench of Justice Nahakul Subedi issued the interim order on August 12.

The court has reminded that the new fiscal budget had pledged that the production, import, sale, distribution and use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns will be completely banned from July 20.

The then Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel while presenting the budget for fiscal year 2021/22 said that the plastic bags will be completely banned from July 20.

Since it has not been implemented yet, the court has asked concerned authorities to prepare an action plan within 10 days and to implement the provision of new fiscal budget to ban the production, import, sale, distribution and use of plastic bags within 21 days.

This provision is mentioned in the point No. 160 of the new fiscal budget brought by the then Finance Minister Poudel.

The court also directed the government to organise public awareness campaign to make the ban effective.

The apex court has also directed the government to form a monitoring mechanism comprising secretaries of various ministers under the command of chief secretary to carry out regular monitoring.

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