Plastic bags are once again in the spotlight for the capital city of India. Delhi government approved what is being called a blanket ban on all forms of plastic bags.
A similar law was passed in 2009, though loopholes in the law kept plastic bags in circulating with little to no effect. That ban, passed in January 2009, prohibited the use, storage and sale of plastic bags in commercial areas. The new more comprehensive and stricter ban will supersede the earlier law which now bans the manufacture, sale, storage and usage of plastic bags.
The convenient yet wasteful product will all but disappear from Delhi under the new guidelines. Beyond the usual plastic bags used to carry groceries, the new ban will include plastic used to cover school books, magazines, cards and other packaged goods. One lone exception for plastic bag usage will be extended to medical facilities under the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules of 1998.
The Economic Times reports, “The ambitious proposal lays down that no person shall manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the area that makes up the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. It stipulates that no person, including a shopkeeper, vendor, wholesaler, retailer, trader and hawker, shall sell or store or use any kind of plastic carry bag for storing or dispensing eatables or non-eatable goods or materials . This means that plastic bags will not be allowed for even throwing kitchen garbage.”
Delhi manufacturers, merchants and public will have one year from September 2012 before the total ban is implemented by local government. Penalties under the plastic bags ban includes a fine of Rs 1 lakh (100,000) and/or five years of imprisonment. Yikes!