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Odisha Govt Enforces Ban on Single-Use Plastic in Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserves

Bhubaneswar: In a significant move toward environmental conservation, the Odisha Government has issued an order prohibiting the use of single-use plastic within the boundaries of sanctuaries, national parks, and tiger reserves in the state. The ban, which comes into effect on April 1, 2024, aims to minimize plastic pollution and protect the rich biodiversity of these natural habitats.

Susanta Nanda, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, announced the decision, highlighting the government’s commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices in wildlife conservation.

The order, exercised under Section 33(C) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, explicitly states, “Entry of single-use plastic shall be prohibited inside Sanctuaries/National Park/Tiger Reserves of the State with effect from 1st April 2024.”

To ensure a smooth transition, the authorities will provide alternative drinking water facilities at various locations within the protected areas. Additionally, tourists may choose to use refundable plastic water bottles available at the entry points. Visitors carrying food items wrapped in plastic are urged to dispose of the packaging responsibly in designated areas, emphasizing the importance of maintaining cleanliness and not littering protected areas.

The disposal of plastic waste generated within the protected areas will adhere to existing guidelines, and consultations with local Panchayats/Urban Bodies will be conducted to ensure proper waste management.

This initiative aligns with the state’s broader commitment to environmental conservation and reflects the government’s dedication to preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of Odisha’s sanctuaries, national parks, and tiger reserves. The ban on single-use plastic is expected to contribute significantly to the ongoing efforts to create sustainable and eco-friendly tourism practices in the region.

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