Goa to ban plastic fully

| 10 January 2001 22:56 IST

With the tiny tourist state receiving positive response for the ban on recycled plastic bags, the government now plans to ban use of all kind of plastic material for packing and wrapping.

"It will immediately begin with total ban on usage of plastic in all the government establishments", says chief minister Manohar Parrikar, except milk pouches and medical use. A notification in this regard is expected by the month end.

Following this would be the ban all kind of plastic carry bags in the state, he states, no matter what thickness it carries. From 15 August, the tourist state had banned plastic bags up to 20 microns, which are normally the recycled ones.

"I do not bother even if the local plastic industry suffers due to this. Let them export it", says Parrikar. The local industrialists have never supported such a blanket ban, claiming that it is eco- friendly.

The government also plans to control the menace created by tourists, littering the plastic bottles all over on the roads and the beaches. Parrikar plans to open collection centres for the bottles, buying them at a definite price.

On the other hand, as the supreme court has prohibited any government from imposing sales tax on tobacco products, the state government has now decided to impose 25 per cent luxury tax on gutkha and five per cent on cigarettes.

The state had otherwise imposed 100 per cent sales tax on gutkha earlier, which had resulted only in black-marketing rather than bringing any amount of revenue to the state treasury.

Informing the journalists about the cabinet decision in this regard, Parrikar said action against all the shopkeepers near educational institutions selling gutkha or other tobacco products would begin from 1 March, after educating them initially for two months.

Goa is one of the few states having an act prohibiting smoking or consuming tobacco products in public places. Authorities however have still been lenient in implementing it while smoking zones are also not earmarked till date.

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