The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the transportation, dumping, sale and use of non-biodegradable materials in the state.
It includes 16 items of non-biodegradable material including polythene, poly bags, nylon, thermocol.
To this end, the government had issued a notification on May 11 under Jammu and Kashmir Non-Biodegradable Materials Act of 2007.
"Government has banned Polythene bags in the state and the implementation order will be enforced shortly," said Tara Chand, Deputy Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, officials and other personnel of the J and K Pollution Control Board, as a first step have launched an awareness campaign among common masses about preventing usage of polythene bags.
In Kathua, a mass campaign has been launched through banners hung at vantage points in the city.
Environment NGOs have also come forth in spreading the awareness and the logic behind the ban on non-biodegradable items.
Volunteers and activists have painted walls in prominent location with slogans reading 'Say No To Polythene Bags' and other information explaining harmful effects of use of polythene Bags to the environment.
"This is a historic decision taken by state government. This step will help in conserving nature's gift like lakes, ponds etc. Jammu and Kashmir's famous Dal Lake was polluted due to polythene being thrown into the lake. Now after the ban, we can conserve and preserve them," said Shashi Sharma, a social activist, Kathua.
Food products such as fruits, vegetables, milk and other eatables are sold in polythene bags.
According to officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government, the municipal authorities, district administration and the Pollution Control Board will enforce this ban step by step so that they can completely stop its usage, sale, transportation and its dumping all together in the state.
The ban is expected to be enforced after one month. Till then, the authorities are spreading mass awareness about the ban through a pro-active campaign.
As per the law notified by the Jammu and Kashmir government, the violators of the ban will be fined with five thousand rupees and a jail term of one month.