After a false start three years ago, Delhi may finally be on the road to being free of plastic bags. The Delhi cabinet has approved imposition of a blanket ban on use, storage, sale and manufacture of plastic bags in the city.
The new ban, more comprehensive and better thought out, will supersede the earlier notification issued in January 2009 that prohibited only the use, storage and sale of plastic bags in commercial areas.
“There will be no leniency in implementing the blanket ban and crackdown on violators will be more aggressive this time,” chief minister Sheila Dikshit said.
A notification on the ban will be issued soon and the government will have one year from that date to implement the ban completely.
The 2009 ban failed to make any difference in the city largely due to poor implementation. This time, the government has moved to plug loopholes in that law.
The ban has been extended to include all plastic bags, even those made of virgin or bio-degradable plastic of 40 microns or more thickness, which had previously been permitted. The only exception will be use of plastic carry bags under the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules of 1998.
The ban now includes manufacturing of plastic bags and use of plastic sheets, films or covers for packaging books, magazines or cards.
WHY THIS BAN HAS MORE BITE
Ban includes manufacture of plastic bags in addition to sale, use and storage
It’s a blanket ban across the city. Earlier ban was restricted to malls, shopping centres, big hotels, hospitals, restaurants etc
Extends to all plastic bags, irrespective of thickness or biodegradability
City gets year’s time to make transition to life without plastic bags
Number of authorized officials to enforce ban increased