Plastic ban violators to face penalities, imprisonment: Rai

Visitors at ‘Plastic Vikalp Mela’ at Thyagaraja Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.

Visitors at ‘Plastic Vikalp Mela’ at Thyagaraja Stadium in New Delhi on Friday. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said violating the ban on single-use plastic (SUP) items in the city will result in a jail term of up to five years or a fine of up to ₹1 lakh, or both, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. 

Mr. Rai added that warning notices will be issued to violators till July 10, after which, action will be taken against repeat offenders. A total of 19 SUP items — including plastic cups, cutlery, straws and plates, among other things — have been identified as part of the ban that came into effect on Friday. 

Speaking at a three-day fair to promote alternatives to SUP items, Mr. Rai said the government’s primary focus was to create awareness against the use of the banned items and to promote alternatives that people can use.  

In August, last year, the Union Environment Ministry had issued the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibits the identified SUP commodities.

“On one side we will have awareness programmes, while the enforcement programme will run simultaneously. However, our top priority lies at creating awareness and promoting alternatives,” the Minister said.  

To ensure effective enforcement of the ban, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has formed 15 teams and the Revenue Department has formed 33 teams. A senior official at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi said the civic body has constituted a total of 125 teams to monitor and take action against violators in areas under its jurisdiction. 

The MCD said on Friday, it had seized 689 kg of the banned SUP items while it issued 368 challans. 

To spread awareness on the SUP ban, a roundtable conference will be held on July 3 with all the stakeholders, Mr. Rai said, adding that in the three-day fair, the government is planning to launch a new “green startup policy” for those involved in the production of single use plastics. This will enable the businessmen to take up businesses in alternatives to single-use plastic and the government will assist them.

Delhi BJP Chief Adesh Gupta, however, said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led government did not launch any awareness campaigns prior to the implementation of the ban, adding that the latter provided no alternatives to SUPs. 

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 3:39:54 am |