NGT bans use of plastic bags less than 50 microns
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday imposed an interim ban on the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags less than 50 microns and violators would have to pay a hefty fine of Rs 5,000.
Slamming the AAP government for its lackadaisical approach in implementing its own 2012 ban, the green panel directed Delhi Pollution Control Committee and other authorities to seize the entire stock of such plastic within one week from Thursday.
The NGT clarified that this is an interim direction which may be changed after hearing all the parties concerned.
A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said "We must express dissatisfaction over the way the Delhi government has implemented the direction of the tribunal in preventing and controlling pollution resulting from the indiscriminate use of plastic waste more particularly the carry bags of thickness 50 microns which are used in the market."
"There shall be complete prohibition on use of non-compostable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in entire Delhi for any purpose whatsoever.
The city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee shall ensure that sale, use and storage of such plastic in not allowed at shops or otherwise," the bench further noted.
The tribunal noted that plastic degrades the environment and causes serious damage to the health of human beings and animals.
Sewer lines get choked due to indiscriminate dumping of plastic, which also blocks free flow of water resulting in flooding of streets in the rainy season, the tribunal said.
"Even animals are subjected to diseases and even death as a result of plastic getting mixed with wet waste which they eat. Public authorities have failed to take appropriate steps in this regard and fulfil their statutory obligations," the bench, also comprising Justice R S Rathore and expert member BS Sajwan, said.
The tribunal also directed the city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to file an affidavit by a senior most officer and inform it how directions with regard to waste management in the city were being implemented particularly with respect to plastics.
The Central Pollution Control Board also endorsed the order and said there should be total ban on the use of plastic in Delhi, while adding that manufacturing of bags should also be prohibited.