On Monday, the Patna High Court bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ashutosh Kumar, during the hearing of a PIL for banning the use of plastic or polythene bags, was informed by the state government that plastic bags will be completely banned in urban areas of Bihar from October 25 and in rural areas from November 25, 2018.
In August, taking note of a news report in a Hindi daily on June 23 on the pollution in a pond located on the premises of sacred Mahabodhi temple in Gaya, the state government had been directed by the High Court to impose the ban and later directed for a law on the matter and use of media to create public awareness. According a draft notification circulated by the state two months ago, there was to be a blanket ban on manufacture, import, storage, transport, sale and use of plastic after seeking objections and suggestions from civilians, institutions and stakeholders from September 24. It further added that plastic bags are non biodegradable, produce toxic gases on burning, cause blockage of sewers and drains and pose a threat to the life of cattle and hence no one was to be allowed to store, distribute, sell or use any kind of plastic bag for storing or dispensing edible or non-edible goods within the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporations and Councils and Nagar Panchayats. However the date had been deferred due to lack of preparedness.
During the hearing, appearing for the state government, Advocate General Lalit Kishore, informed an HC bench that “there will be complete ban on use of plastic bags in any form from October 25 in urban areas, while it will be banned in rural areas from November 25 across the state.”, further adding that, irrespective of their thickness, all types of plastic bags would be banned in Bihar from the stipulated dates.