The Uttarakhand government is planning to ban single-use plastics in all government offices in the state. "We are in the process of banning single-use plastics in all government offices including the Secretariat," said a top government official.
Through this initiative, the use of plastic glasses, folders, bottles, cups and other plastic items will be banned in government offices, he added.
"This is our first step, we will see the response and then decide about taking further action," said the official.
In another eco-friendly initiative, the government made it mandatory to convert biodegradable waste into compost in all government residences in the state.
Sources said that a couple of government officers have already started this process at their residences.
"These initiatives may be small but through them we want to send a message of making Uttarakhand environment-friendly," said S.P. Subudhi, Member Secretary of the Uttarakhand Environment Protection Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB).
However, the government's resolve to enforce a complete ban on single-use plastic bags has still not been implemented completely as plastic bags are freely available in the market.
"We have directed all district magistrates to ensure enforcement of the order to stop the use of plastic bags," said a top government official.
Uttarakhand is the third state after Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to enforce a ban on plastic. In January 2017, the government issued an order banning manufacture, distribution and sale of polythene bags and single-use plastic cutlery.
This followed an Uttarakhand High Court ruling in December 2016 which ordered a blanket ban on sale, purchase and use of plastic.