Odisha Goes Plastic-free From Today

Marking the auspicious occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday with a noble cause, urban Odisha plans to completely eliminate the use of single-use plastic from today. A strict ban has been imposed in the state on manufacture, trade, sale, import and use of polythene and single-use plastic items. The ban also applies to the plastic used for food consumption including plates, cups, glasses, containers among others.

However, according to the Forest and Environment Department, manufacturing of plastic sheets above 50 microns is permitted subject to a certificate being obtained from the Central Pollution Control Board for doing so. Polythene materials used for packaging of medicines, blood transportation bags, syringe is also exempt from the ban.

To show support to this initiative by the state government, Bhubaneswar Puja Committee Secretary, Narayan Mohapatra, has instructed Durga Puja pandals to adhere to the plastic-ban. Hundreds of volunteers have been given the duty to discourage people from using plastic at the pandals and celebrate a plastic-free Durga Puja. This time around, even prasad will not be served using plastic material.

“We will not use plastic flowers for decoration. If devotees come up with plastic bags for prasad, we will be dumping those in the eco-friendly dustbins that have been installed in the pandal. Also, we will be serving prasad in plates made of leaves and bamboo. We support PM Modi and CM Naveen Patnaik’s message to avoid plastic,” said Mohapatra.

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