Bihar bans plastic packaged water bottles

Government departments have been prohibited from using or buying packaged water bottles

By Alok Gupta
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Photo: Meeta AhlawatBihar government has banned the use of plastic packaged water bottles in all its departments with immediate effect. The decision was taken by the state’s environment and forest department as part of its green initiatives.

Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh issued a notification directing all government departments to ensure that no plastic bottles are used in meetings, events and seminars organised by them. Last year, the environment department had banned the use of packaged non-biodegradable plastic water bottles in all its offices.

“Government has decided to implement a complete ban on use of plastic bottles in all the departments,” B A Khan, principal conservator of forests, confirmed to Down To Earth.

Officials have been directed to adopt the practice of serving purified water using steel tumblers and glasses. In a bid to ensure effective implementation of the ban, the government has stated it will not clear any bills related to the purchase of packaged water bottles.

Khan pointed out that a majority of government departments have already installed water filters and purifiers.

While Bihar has banned the use of plastic water bottles, states like Himachal Pradesh have banned plastic packaging for junk food. Himachal Pradesh had also banned polythene bags below 40 micron in 2011.

Ishteyaque Ahmad, senior campaigner of Greenpeace in Bihar, said that a lot more needs to be done to control non-biodegradable plastic waste in the state. “Non-biodegradable waste is not only choking the state’s sewage, but is also impacting the environment. We expect the state to soon place a ban on non-recyclable plastic,” he added.

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  • AT Last!! At Last!!! This

    AT Last!! At Last!!!

    This which should have been the enforced rule right at the outset, has become an exception today thanks to the sarkari environmental opsimaths' awakening to the havoc these materials wreak!! But better late than never!

    In fact in the not-too-distant past, elders esp. women
    used to carry zinc/copper water containers(kalash-shaped ones, called as "mara-chembu" in Telugu) along with them during journeys! There is no reason why this excellent practice should not be revived, followed and promoted again today.

    Pleading convenience to the use of PET is no excuse as it is only a perception with no regard for environment. Even Lord SriKrishna in the Bhagawad Geeta has said that ordinary people follow the leader upon whom rests the responsibility to act rightly/ethically worthy of emulation. If the so-called rich and intelligentsia give up plastic and take to natural materials then probably others will also change for the better. Otherwise hypocrisy will reign supreme!
    And of course the plastic manufacturers who may lose from potential fall in demand through such trends, be suitably rehabilitated in alternative green industries.

    Our country certainly couldn't have been poorer but for the sale and use of PET bottles and the stuffs inside them!!! There are many other green and healthy things which can positively add to the GDP which again is a concept(i.e GDP) that is increasingly and thankfully being called under question!

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Welcome move. In Bangladesh

    Welcome move.

    In Bangladesh the Milk Packets are banned as many people in the past when they throw them in the drainage canals,the dirty water gets blocked. Also in Denmark I find Beverages are served in Bottles and not in Cans.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • gud job bihar!!!!! makes me

    gud job bihar!!!!! makes me feel proud :) introduce many more laws to keep our earth green and clean

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • The same type of step should

    The same type of step should be taken by Railway Department," banned the use of plastic packaged water bottles in Railway with immediate effect to save the Environment as well as to create awareness overall country.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • There should be more stories

    There should be more stories on innovations in this field of reducing plastic waste.

    The Himachal Pradesh ban is only on paper. Chandigarh had banned plastic bags and plastic waste during Gen Rodrigues tenure as Administrator of Chandigarh but sadly after he left, his successors and the officers down the line haven't been too enthusiastic about implementing the same.

    We need to know who are the bulk manufacturers of Biodegradable plastic waste --specially for high volume users such as caterers for the railways, airlines, hotels, restaurants, retail shopkeepers and the caterers at banquet/marriage halls besides the kitchens of the armed forces and paramilitary forces, high footfall religious tourism such as Vaishnodevi Board, and other long distance trekking cum pilgrimage centres.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply