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The National Green Tribunal has ordered a fine of Rs. 5,000 by imposing an interim ban on the use of thin plastic bags.
Plastic bags of less than 50 microns are prohibited under Plastic Waste Management Rules. The NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar banned the use of plastic and imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000. The NGT has given the Delhi government a week’s time to seize the entire stock of the banned plastic from the market.
Experts have pointed out that it will be difficult for the layman to differentiate between 50 microns of plastic and a plastic that will be more than 50 microns. The NGT directed that people should avoid using all sort of flimsy plastic bags.
The NGT observed that the usage of thin plastic bags is one the prime reasons for environmental hazards in Delhi. “There shall be a complete prohibition on using of plastic bags in the entire National Capital Territory of Delhi for any purpose whatsoever, the plastic which is a non-compostable material which is less than 50 microns.”
Public authorities have failed to implement the directions and take preventive measures and precautionary steps which are their statutory obligation.
The order said, “The NCT, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, and all public authorities shall ensure that the sale of such plastic, storage or use of such plastics at the shop or otherwise is not permitted.”
As per the new Plastic Waste Management Rules, the permissible thickness of plastic bags has been increased from 40 microns to 50 microns.
This is considered as a good move. The plastic waste management rules that prohibit less than 50 microns of plastic carry bag is already there but nevertheless, it is not implemented. After imposing this stringent penalty there is a scope that it will be better implemented and the consumers will be forced to take their own cloth or paper bags.