August 16: The Supreme Court has issued an interim order banning the production, import, sale, distribution and use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns. A single bench of Justice Nahakul Subedi on Sunday issued a six-point interim order banning the use of thin plastic bags.
“The budget statement of the Fiscal Year 2021/22 states that the production, import, sale, distribution and use of plastics thinner than 40 microns will be completely banned from July 16, 2021,” the order said. “For the effective implementation of the provisions mentioned in the budget, necessary coordination should be made with those bodies related to the issues that are on the list of rights of the provincial and local level as per the constitution.”
The order was issued in response to a writ petition filed by Advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha on behalf of Environment Law Society Nepal against the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. In the order, the Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers has been asked to formulate an action plan on the work, duties and responsibilities of the concerned bodies within 10 days from the date of receipt of the order with the participation of responsible officials of other bodies.
The order also states that a copy of the action plan should be submitted to this court along with a written reply. “In order to conduct necessary publicity and awareness campaigns for the effective implementation of the action plan, a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the action plan should be set up in coordination with the chief secretary of the government,” the order read.