The government has decided to declare Kathmandu Valley polythene bag-free zone from mid-April 2015.

“The decision has already been taken in line with the Parliamentary Environment Protection Committee directive to declare the valley polythene bag-free zone,” said spokesperson of Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment Ram Adhar Sah. “The ministry is preparing for the announcement,” he said, adding that Kathmandu’s environment will significantly improve once plastic bags will be banned.

The government is also preparing to convert polythene bag industries into non-plastic bag industries. The parliamentary committee also directed the Ministry of Industry to study how companies producing polythene bags could be transformed into cotton bag manufacturers. The ministry has also been asked to make arrangements to encourage manufacturers and consumers to use jute, paper and cotton bags instead of plastic bags.

The parliamentary committee had directed the government to impose a ban on use of plastic bags from April 14, 2015 – the first day of the next year according to the Nepali calendar – by making necessary amendments to the laws.

The meeting also instructed the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to effectively implement Plastic Bags Control and Regulation Directive 2011, apart from amending it to ease banning of production, import, export, sell and use of plastic bags below 30 microns.

Likewise, the committee asked the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Ministry of Urban Development to submit progress report on implementation of Waste Management Act 2011 within a week.

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