NGT bans use, sale of plastic bags less than 50 microns

Expressing anguish over the plight of Delhi with its drains clogged by plastic, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed an interim ban on the use, sale and storage of non-biodegradable plastic bags less than 50 microns.

The Tribunal has also directed the city government to seize the entire stock of plastic within a week.

Hearing on August 29

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also announced an environment compensation of ₹5,000 on anyone found to be in possession of banned plastic.

The matter has now been listed for hearing on August 29.

The green court, which maintained that it was “anguished at the plight of the city”, said, “We must express dissatisfaction over the way the Delhi government has implemented the directions of the Tribunal in preventing and controlling pollution resulting from the indiscriminate use of plastic waste, more particularly carry bags with thickness of 50 microns, which are used in markets.”

The Bench also highlighted how the Capital’s sewer lines were choked because of indiscriminate dumping, which also exposed animals to plastic waste that mixes with the wet waste they eat.

NGT bans use, sale of plastic bags less than 50 microns

“There shall be complete prohibition on use of non-biodegradable plastic bags that are less than 50 microns in entire Delhi for any purpose whatsoever. The city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee [DPCC] shall ensure that sale, use and storage of such plastic in not allowed in shops or otherwise,” the Bench noted.

Affidavit sought

The Tribunal also asked the city government and the DPCC to file an affidavit and inform it about the directions being implemented with regard to waste management in the city, particularly in the case of plastics.

“Public authorities have failed to take appropriate steps in this regard and fulfil their statutory ligations,” said the Bench, which included Justice R. S. Rathore and expert member B. S. Sajwan.

Last year, the green panel had banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi-NCR with effect from January 1, 2017. The order prohibited the use of disposable plastic in hotels, restaurants, and for public and private functions.

It had also directed the city government to take appropriate steps against “storage, sale and use” of such material from January 1.

‘Directions not new’

The Tribunal had also said that an environment compensation of ₹10,000 would be imposed on vegetable vendors and slaughter houses for dumping garbage in public places.

“Today’s [Thursday] directions are not new. The green court had asked the city government through the civic agencies to ensure strict implementation of a 2009 Delhi government notification that banned the use of plastic,” said Delhi Government counsel advocate Tarun Khehar.

Delhi first banned the use and storage of plastic bags in 2009, but this order was stayed by the High Court after plastic manufacturers approached it.

Later, in October 2012, a notification had banned local manufacturing of plastic.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:34:08 PM |

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