THIMPHU, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- After about 20 years the Bhutanese government has once again decided to reinforce a ban on the use and sale of plastics on April 1.
The decision was announced by the National Environment Commission in a public notification.
The commission said that with the reinforcement of the ban, businesses using plastics would be fined Nu 500 (7 U.S. dollars) for the first offence, and Nu 1,000 (14 U.S. dollars) for the second offence. For those who were found violating the rule subsequently, the licenses would be canceled.
Bhutan launched the initiative to ban plastics in 1999, and tried to reinforce the policy in 2005 and 2009. However, both the attempts failed due to lack of follow-ups after the notification, and implementation.
To help implement the reinforcement of ban, the commission has sought cooperation of relevant agencies to conduct sensitization programs, explore the availability of alternatives and help prepare the monitoring plans.
Environment officials said the ban is in line with the, "waste prevention and management Act of Bhutan 2009, its regulation 2012 and amendment 2016," and to help protect and sustain human health through protection of the environment by reducing the generation of waste at source.
Bhutan has been grappling with increasing waste pollution. As per the National Environment Commission's report, with rapid socio-economic development, increasing population and urbanization, the country is seeing an increase in the amount of solid waste generated.