Taking a giant leap forward towards protecting the environment, the Delhi Government has imposed a blanket ban on manufacture, sale, storage and use of plastic bags in the city. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: “After considering the adverse effects of plastic carry bags on the environment, we decided to ban them. It has also been observed that plastic bags cause blockage of gutters, drains and sewerage system, thereby resulting in serious environmental and public health-related problems”.
She said her government would soon issue a notification stating that no person including any shopkeeper, vendor, wholesaler or retailer, trader or hawker would sell or store or use any kind of plastic carry bags. No person will manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic carry bags in the city. Also, no person will use any kind of plastic cover or plastic sheet or plastic film or plastic tube to pack or cover any book including magazine, invitation or greeting card.
The notification will, however, not affect the use of plastic carry bags as specified under the Bio-Medical Waste Management & Handling Rules, 1998.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee member-secretary will ensure overall monitoring and implementation of the ban. The notification will come into force with effect from the date to be decided by the Government in the official Gazette.
A Delhi Government release said: “From the date of final notification, the earlier notification dated January 7, 2009, will be superseded except in suppression of the things done or omitted to be done before such suppression, to the extent that compliant cases filed under the previous notification and pending. As per earlier notification no person was permitted to manufacture, stock, distribute or sell any carry bag made of virgin or recycled or compostable plastic less than 40 microns in thickness. As per the new notification the ban would be a blanket one.’’