Nepali Times
Life Times
Plastic-free Ilam


After a month-long campaign and trial period, Ilam Municipality has completely banned the use of plastic bags in the city. People now take a jute bag with them from home when they go shopping. Shopkeepers use either paper or leaves to wrap goods if customers don't have their own bags.

Tea entrepreneurs have agreed to use Nepali paper to package tea. The municipality has planned to maximise the use of paper and ban plastic use, except for readymade goods like noodles and biscuits wrapped in plastic bags.

The municipality recalled polythene bags from all shops and a team led by municipality executive officer Yubaraj Dahal has been monitoring the market. If a shopkeeper sells goods in a polythene bag he will be fined Rs 500, while shoppers will be fined Rs 200 for using them.

Dahal argues that the drastic steps were necessary as plastic was littering an otherwise clean and green Ilam. The municipality has set aside 38 ropanis of land (>19,000 square metres) for processing degradable waste. "Our goal is to develop Ilam as a green city within two years by processing all the waste generated here. The Finnish ambassador has promised support, and has already visited the proposed site."

Ten thousand trees will be planted along either side of the roads within the municipality, and in deforested areas. A park is being constructed in Shera village, ward No. 3, next to the proposed processing site.

Hoarding boards advertising cigarette and liquor brands have already been removed from within the municipality, which has also implemented plans to attract tourists for Nepal Tourism Year 2011.

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A new life

1. Santosh Samip
Being a ilame and away from home town, eventhough, got a chance to read such a news, I am really proud of ilame people for their effort.... Thank alot for d great job.. and  good wish for all the best...

2. Sarath G
I wonder if Kathmandu's city planners have the brains and the balls to come up with such initiatives... probably not, considering KTM Metro City Office is apparently the most corrupt one...Why dont these people just die...???

3. kalo manche
Rest of Nepal should follow the Ilamis. Good work and well done.

4. Rohit Rai

Now on how to pack the tea leaves? Put it in plastic containers?

5. Sunil Shrestha

Good Show Ilam. How about keeping the main 'chowk' vehicle free!

6. bhauju
Congratulations to the people of Ilam!
Let's hope that others will follow their radical example. I would love this to happen in Pokhara where I live, as we're literally sick of being poisoned by plastic being burned on fires. Recently black plastic bags were reportedly banned here, but they've only been replaced by white ones! Where's the sense in that?

7. Timila Dhakhwa
So happy to see this!

8. Anonymous
At a time when the 'center' is stagnant, chocked, filthy, dirty, rotten to the core (I call it a "necropolis"), yet again the  'periphery' generated another  alternative fresh perspective. Kudo to Youbraj ji! Let people ban plastics all over Nepal. Instead organic bags and baskets locally made from bamboo, grass (e.g. babiyo), sanpaat etc should be promoted. Let the massive reforestation be the key  agenda. (Nepal set an outstanding model in community forestry in the past!) The income from such initiatives should go directly to the local farmers and the community. Let the local people initiate, manage, monitor and evaluate change! Lo and behold, here is the true seed of federalism!! I am hopeful of the new cultural consciousness unfolding in the country side. We should learn to learn how to generate our own values! KTM, learn from Ilam!

9. R RAI
Congratulations to the people of Ilam and Mr Dahal for his leadership.Hope this excellent initiative will spread all over Nepal.

10. KK
totally agree with #8. that's the way ktm should go. There's no way tourism can grow when our cities literally covered in litter.

11. Sargam

There is no need to ban plastic bags � just procure some d2w additive and pour it into the polymer before the manufacture of bags kick-starts at the factory, and they will self-destruct at the end of their usual life leaving no harmful residues.

Anyway, there is a very little extra cost.

This British technology is available if you log on to: and

At length, the aforesaid plastic bags change into a material with a completely different fragmented molecular structure.

These fragments are bio-assimilated in the free and open environment even faster than straw and twigs.

12. Gopal
I wanted to visit Illam during my holidays in Nepal.

After 6 hours drive from Narayangarh I found out some group of asses had called bandh and so I cannot go.

No wonder they ban plastic because people are themself garbage.

13. a. r. shakya
at least a good news ! Kathmandu valley should follow the same example.

14. Vijaya Karki
" Sunma Sugandha!" . Ilam can be the perfect example of this quote after taking such fabulous steps.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)