The Nagaland government on Thursday notified its policy for restricting the use of plastics in the state to eradicate the serious environmental and ecological challenges posed by rampant use of plastics with immediate effect.
The urban development department said the notification has been issued after the state cabinet gave its approval to ban use of plastics in the state at a meeting on November 26.
As per the notification, all single-use plastics less than 50 microns especially plastic bags and plastic cutlery including styrofoam and thermocol disposable plates will be banned from December 1.
It said the government offices will stop using packaged drinking water bottles, below 20 litres capacity, by April 1, 2019.
Alternatives like filtered water dispensers and reverse osmosis plants will be introduced while the government servants will be encouraged to carry reusable drinking water bottles.
The notification said alternatives to plastic bags such as cloth, jute, paper bags, bamboo and leaf plates and cutlery will be promoted and popularized.
The government will set up a taskforce in each district that will include government officials, NGOs and church leaders to devise local strategies and build awareness for plastic-free environment.
The notification said the village councils and municipal bodies will be sensitised to take proactive action for discouraging use of plastics in their jurisdiction and they can decide on the issue of levying penalties for continued use of single-use plastics in their jurisdiction.
The government will provide incentives to entrepreneurs investing in production of paper bags and cloth bag making units, disposable biodegradable cutlery from areca nut leaves, setting up of water ATMs in public places, plastic shredding units for recycling of plastics among others.
It said necessary steps will be taken for banning plastic straws by January 1, 2020, which would require manufacturers of juices, coffee to start adopting alternatives to single use plastic straws.