TT, Gangtok, May 24: The state government has imposed a ban on the sale and use of disposable items like cups, plates, spoons and containers made of styrofoam as they are “environmentally hazardous” and “not healthy”.
A notification signed by the state chief secretary, A.K. Srivastava, and issued on May 19 mentions that the ban across the state will be in place with immediate effect.
“… It has been found that a lot of disposable styrofoam items are being rampantly used not only in the bazaar areas but also in the rural areas. The result is that a huge quantity of municipal waste is created in the form of used Styrofoam and other disposable products. These products are environmentally hazardous and occupy a huge space in our landfill. It is also not healthy to eat especially hot items in the styrofoam containers,” it reads.
Styrofoam is a type of expanded plastic used for making food containers.
Recently, chief minister Pawan Chamling had also spoken about its ill-effects. “The by-products emitted after burning styrofoam is not only hazardous but also very dangerous for human health,” he had said at a programme here.
Gangtok mayor Shakti Singh Chaudhary said shopkeepers would be made aware of the ban by next week.
“The modalities would be worked out,” said an official in the chief secretary’s office.
Ram Chettri, a shopkeeper in Gangtok, said he had heard about the notification. I will stop selling the items once I receive it in writing.”
The state has also ordered all departments not to use plastic water bottles at events “because they are non-biodegradable,” said an official.
Sikkim had banned plastic bags in 2002 and fertilisers in 2008.