KATHMANDU, March 26: After the government's attempt to ban plastic bags in the Kathmandu Valley two years ago became a complete failure, Ward No 1 of Mahalaxmi Municipality in Lalitpur district is all set to revive the ban from April 14 coinciding with the Nepali New Year 2075.
On April 14, 2015, the Department of Environment (DoE) had announced ban on plastic bags of certain thickness in the Kathmandu Valley. The ban was effectively implemented for the first few days but it could not continue after the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015.
The Imadol area, which lies in ward 1 of Mahalaxmi Municipality, is all set to disallow the use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns, said Nanda Kumar KC, the ward chairman.
KC said that the objective of the ban is to keep the environment clean. "The ban will be successful as it is being enforced after holding a series of serious consultations with the locals," he said.
As part of the campaign against plastic bags, functions will be organized to create awareness about the harmful effects of plastic bags during the first 20 days of the ban, according to KC.
While locals have expressed their commitment to cooperate with the campaign, Mahalaxmi Municipality Mayor Rameshwar Shrestha appreciated the ward's initiative. But Shrestha, however, did not say if the municipality had any plan to ban plastic bags.
Spokesperson at the Department of Environment Saphala Shrestha said the government has no immediate plans to ban plastic bags. While appreciating the initiative of the Lalitpur ward, she said banning the use of bags was not enough and called for ban on production and import of such bags.
Since the existing law does not allow the government to impose ban on the production of plastic bags, the government is working to formulate a new policy to ban the production and import of plastic bags, according to Shrestha.