In compliance with the order of the state High Court, which has completely prohibited use of polythene packaging for non-essential food items, the sale and storage of all non-essential edibles like potato chips and candies in polythene packs will be banned in Himachal Pradesh from today. Himachal will be the first state in the country to ban polythene-packed edible items.

The High Court had ruled that non-essential eatables like potato chips, cookies, candy, chewing gum, ice cream, chocolates, noodles and candies are junk food and cannot be sold in polythene packings. However, essential items like milk and vegetable oils are exempted from the ban.

The Court had directed the government to impose a blanket ban across the state from April 1, but the government pleaded for affording some time to the traders to clear their stocks. Earlier, the government had imposed ban on use of polythene bags made of non-biodegradable material and disposable plastic products.