Ban on plastic bags no solution: Jairam Ramesh | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ban on plastic bags no solution: Jairam Ramesh

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said the government would pursue a policy of encouraging bio-degradable plastic and argued that banning polythene bags was no solution.

delhi Updated: Jul 08, 2009 17:50 IST

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said the government would pursue a policy of encouraging bio-degradable plastic and argued that banning polythene bags was no solution.

"It is the failure of the solid waste management by (the) local bodies that is forcing the state governments to ban the use of plastic bags," Jairam Ramesh, who holds independent charge of environment ministry, said in parliament.

He said the problem was not plastic bags, but the use of recycled plastic and the material made using colouring material.

Speaking during question hour in the Lok Sabha, he said bio-degradable plastic "is an expensive proposition and is in a nascent stage" but added that the government would pursue a policy of encouraging it.

It was not yet being used commercially on a large scale, he added.

"In India there is a general belief that plastic bags have been banned. The entire world uses them and they came as an alternative to paper bags," the minister said. He added that paper bags would lead to cutting of trees.

The government would insist on maintaining a certain thickness and the ban was on recycled plastic bags "but not on plastics per se".

He said the Himachal Pradesh government had announced that it would ban plastics from August 15, while Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and West Bengal have barred its use.