New Delhi The Delhi government has stepped up efforts to implement the ban on manufacture of plastic bags in the city. It has now sought comments from public on a new draft rule to discourage the use of plastic bags.
Anyone found manufacturing bags from plastic, that is prohibited in Delhi, could be jailed for up to five years or fined Rs 1 lakh or both, according to a draft of the notification put up for public comments.
“We have publicised the notification so we could get suggestions and objections, if any, from all the stakeholders. This is open till November 20, after which a final notification will be issued imposing the ban,” a senior environment official said.
In April , the government decided to ban plastic bag manufacturing as it felt domestic production was making them cheap to buy, and was a reason why a ban on plastic bags enforced in 2009 remained unsuccessful.
A senior environment official said once the ban comes into force, at least 400 plastic bag manufacturing units currently operating in the city will have to shut down.
“A survey, done earlier this year, showed that the annual turnover of these units is in the range of Rs 800 crore to Rs 1,000 crore,” the official said.
According to the draft notification, no person, including shopkeepers, vendors, wholesalers, retailers and hawkers, will be allowed to sell, store or use plastic carry bags.
“No person shall (be allowed) to manufacture, store, import, sell or transport any kind of plastic carry bags (including that of polypropelene, non-woven fabric type) in the whole of National Capital Territory of Delhi except for export purposes,” the notification states.
The use of plastic cover or pouch to pack magazines and invitation or greeting cards will also be prohibited, a senior environment official.
“But the ban will not be applicable to containers used for packing food material, milk and bags that constitute or form an integral part of the packaging in which goods are sealed prior to use,” the official said.
Following a High Court order, the government had in January 2009 imposed a ban on the use of plastic bags in various markets, shopping malls, hotels and hospitals, but it has not been very effective.