The next time you readily take a plastic bag from the grocery store to carry your stuff in Delhi, make sure you also have ₹5,000 on you. Because that’s the price you’ll now pay for it.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed an interim ban on plastic bags thinner than 50 microns, which is less than an average human hair. The thinner the plastic, the more harmful it is for the environment.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, announced whoever is found in possession of these plastic bags will be fined ₹5,000 as an environmental compensation.
Plastic bags clog sewers, choke and kill animals and are a major source of environmental pollution as they are not biodegradable.
To eliminate their usage, within a week, the entire stock of plastic bags will be seized by the Delhi government, it has been ordered.
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Last year, disposable plastic was banned in the city to reduce dumped waste. But in June this year, the NGT criticised the government over its continued use despite the prohibition. Now, it has ordered the government to impose a strict ban on plastic and file a status report on its implementation.
“These bags have zero reusable value and that’s why environmentalists were insisting upon ending its use,” Rajesh Mittal, a member of the Plastic Manufacturing Association told HT.