30,000 kg of plastic bags seized in Delhi, traders say 80% still in use

Almost three months after the NGT banned plastic bags less than 50 microns, the Delhi government has seized 30,000 kg of plastic carry bags, issued 1,650 challans and collected fines worth ₹31.8 lakh.

The street vendors, vegetable grocers and local shops are, however, still using the product in large numbers. Only a section of the shops have shifted to bags thicker than 50 microns.

The Delhi government has collected over 30 lakh fine and seized around 30,000 kgs of plastic bags since August 10, almost three months after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned plastic bags less than 50 microns. But more than 80% of this banned product is yet to be seized, say plastic manufacturers.

In an interim order in August, a bench headed by the NGT’s chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, also slapped a fine of 5,000 on anyone found in possession of non-biodegradable plastic bags less than 50 microns, which is the thickness of a human hair. The green court directed the Delhi government to seize the banned bags within a week.

According to representatives of the Plastic Manufacture’s Association, the seized bags could be less than just 20% of the total number of polythene bags (thinner than 50 microns) that are still available in the markets of Delhi-NCR. “As per our estimates, the daily demand of plastic bags, less than 50 microns, is around 60,000 kg in Delhi-NCR. Most of the supply comes from outside NCR region,” said Rajesh Mittal , member of Plastic Manufacturers and Traders Association in Delhi.

Earlier this week, the government had come under the NGT scanner for the same reason. Justice Swatanter Kumar had said that one could easily find plastic bags being used across the city despite the ban.

Source:- Hindustan Times


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