August 10th, 2017
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today, August 10, imposed an interim ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in Delhi.
The decision was taken by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar which also announced a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found in possession of such banned plastic, reported The Hindu Business Line.
The tribunal has asked the Delhi government to seize the entire stock of plastic within one week from today. The AAP government and the Delhi Pollution Control have been directed to file an affidavit by a senior most officer and inform it how directions with regard to waste management across the city were being implemented, particularly with respect to plastics.
Last year, the green tribunal had banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi and NCR with effect from 1 January 2017 and directed the city government to undertake steps to reduce dumped waste.
The Delhi government was slammed by the NGT earlier in July over the indiscriminate and rampant use of plastic in the national capital despite its prohibition.
The bench had directed the AAP government to strictly enforce the ban and sought a status report on the issue.
The green tribunal had prohibited the use of disposable plastic in the whole of Delhi, especially at hotels, restaurants and for public and private functions, while asking the government to take appropriate steps against “storage, sale and use” of use of such material from January 1 this year.
It has also imposed a Rs 10,000 fine on vegetable vendors and slaughter houses for throwing garbage in public places.
The Logical Indian community welcomes the decision of the National Green Tribunal. A single plastic bag takes up to 20 to 1,000 years to degrade and remain toxic even after breakdown. Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. There is a humongous gap between its use and the amount that is recycled. Strict regulations are necessary to combat the widespread use of this harmful material. We hope that the NGT order will bring down its use manifold.