Odisha government has banned single-use plastic in all urban areas of the state from Gandhi Jayanti Day on Wednesday, an official said.

The Odisha Forest and Environment Department in a notification issued on September 30 said the state government has prohibited the manufacture, sell, trade, import, storing, carrying, transportation and distribution of the single-use plastics, the official said.

The ban will be imposed on polythene carry bags of any shape, thickness and size (excluding compostable), Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet/Pete) bottles of less than 200 ml capacity, the notification said.

It also banned single-use disposable cutleries made up of thermocol (polystyrene), polyurethane and similar products, of plastic such as dish, spoon, cup, plate, glass, fork, bowl, pouch to store liquid and container of any size and shape except for packing and selling of milk and other ancillary milk products and thermocol decorative materials.

The vendors will not be allowed to use polythene sheets of less than 50-micron thickness for storing, transporting, dispensing or packaging of any article or commodity or food items, consumables, packaging of milk and milk products and edible oil in a sealed manner.

This, however, excludes any plastic carrying and transporting garbage and containers like cup for milk products including curd and ice-creams, polythene packing materials used in healthcare sector like medicines, blood transportation bags, syringes, sample and specimen bags, resalable bags, medical instruments and accessories, the notification said.

Forest and Environment department secretary Mona Sharma also asked the officials to avoid the use of plastic items in their respective offices and ensure strict compliance of the rule by others in the state.

The cinema halls were asked to exhibit slides in their theatres regarding the restriction of plastic use in the state for a period of one year from the date of issue of this order.

The State Pollution Control Board has been assigned the job of closing down industries producing plastic products which are not confirming to the stipulations of this order within the municipal corporations/municipalities to which this order applies.

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The notification said that any person including the vendor possessing any materials, which are prohibited under this order, shall dispose of those articles within one month from the date of publication of the order.

Earlier on Gandhi Jayanti in 2018, the state had imposed a ban on plastic usage in six major cities -Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri.

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