14 April 2015:
This Nepali New Year, the government declared Kathmandu valley a polythene bag-free zone.
The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology in association with No Thanks! I carry My Own Bag campaign organised a rally to mark the 'plastic bag ban' declaration. The Rally initiated with a Flash Mob performed by No Thanks! I Carry My Own Bag campaign volunteers which routed from BhrikutiMandap, Sahidgate, NewRoad, Ason, Bhotahity ended at BhrikutiMandap with a formal program expressing commitments on not using plastic bags by various government representatives, and other stakeholders.
Addressing the program, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Development and Federal Affairs Prakash Man Singh stated the importance of active participation in order to make the plastic bags ban a success in the valley. “Declaring this Valley, a plastic bags free zone is a good beginning and a good initiation taken by the youth. We need to implement it by ourselves first and there is an immediate need of people supporting it.”
Lead of No Thanks I Carry My Own Bag campaign Pradip Khatiwada states, “The only objective of banning plastic bags in Kathmandu Valley is to make our valley as clean, pollution free and serene as before. Banning plastic bags has been greatly supported by Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and Department of Environment. We are thankful for the support that has been provided and made it a national level issue”.
Meanwhile, Convener of the campaign, Shilshila Acharya expressed the need to strictly implement the initiative. She said, “We have travelled half the way to make Kathmandu Valley free from polythene bags. However, the campaign would be successful when the lawmakers strictly implement and monitor the ban policy from now onwards”.
Speaking at the program, Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa said, "the implementation part would be a quite difficult task but if every citizen starts avoiding plastic bag from their daily practice from today onwards, the campaign will be successful.”
With this declaration from the government, the No Thanks! I carry My Own Bag campaign which was started a year and half ago has successfully achieved its first big goal but there is much more to go. The campaigners now will be focusing on the effective implementation of the ban and also give continuity to the public awareness programs.