Wildlife: Jharkhand bans single use plastic in national parks, sanctuaries, zoos

Ranchi: To stop harmful effects of plastic on wildlife and its habitats, Jharkhand forest department on Tuesday announced to completely ban single use plastic across all its national parks and protected areas with immediately effect. State’s chief wildlife warden Rajiv Ranjan has issued an order in this regard on November 1 mentioning about fiscal penalty and jail term in case of violations.

“Considering the harmful effects of single use plastic which have on animals and wildlife, it has been decided to immediately ban them at all national parks, zoos and sanctuaries,” read the order, a copy of which is also available with “In case of violations, culprits will be charged under section 51 of Indian Wildlife Act, 1972 which has provision for maximum of three years jail term, Rs 25000 fine or both, it added.

There are about a dozen national parks and sanctuaries in Jharkhand. Some of the prominent ones include Betla National park, Palamau Tiger Reserve, and Hazaribag National Park. There are three zoos in the state. Ranchi’s Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park is owned by forest department while two others in Bokaro and Jamshedpur are owned by Bokaro Steel Plant and Tata Steel respectively.  

Notably, in August, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFC) notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, to prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of several single-use plastic items some of which include earbuds, balloons, ice-cream and candies wrappers, thermocol, plastic flags among others. It also listed plastic items having thickness of less than 100 microns such as cups, glasses invitation cards, spoons, knives, trays etc in the list of to-be-prohibited item.