New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat has prohibited the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament House Complex with effect from Tuesday, reported ANI.

All officers and staff of the Secretariat and other allied agencies working in the Parliament House Complex have been asked to comply with the directions. They have also been advised to use environment-friendly/ biodegradable bags/materials instead.

“This initiative by the Lok Sabha Secretariat is a step towards the call by the Prime Minister to the nation to make the country free from plastics,” it said.

In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged citizens to abandon the use of single-use plastic and take significant steps to achieve this objective by October 2, when the country celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Can we free India from single-use plastic? The time for implementing such an idea has come. May teams be mobilised to work in this direction. Let a significant step be made on October 2,” he had said.

Last year, then Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan had said on World Environment Day 2018 (June 5) that the country would try to “phase out” single-use plastic by 2022.

PM Modi was also present at that event. More than 20 states have notified a full or partial ban on such plastic, Maharashtra being the first.

The Environment ministry has reportedly been working on legislation to ban single-use plastics and has sought views from states. “We should take the first important step to bid a goodbye to plastic,” the PM had said.

He invited start-ups to recycle plastic and develop technologies for the use of recycled plastic. He also said that the use of paper or cloth bags would generate employment.

He called out to shopkeepers to say an emphatic no to customers who ask for polythene bags.