The plastic covers that wrap those glitzy magazines and expensive wedding invitation cards will soon be banned.
The Delhi government has decided to bring these plastic covers, mainly cellophane wrappers, under the ambit of the plastic bag ban.
The environment department has already taken a decision to amend the notification to include magazine covers and
invitation-card pouches under the ban. Also on the hit list are drinking water pouches.
“We recently wrote to all the leading publishing houses, which bring out magazines, to discontinue selling their products in plastic covers,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be named.
After much brainstorming, the government decided that these covers, too, are like plastic bags -easily plunked, as they are not fit for any other use, hence as harmful as plastic bags.
“There is no reason why the magazines cannot be sold in covers made of paper or any other non-plastic material,” he said.
Most magazines come packed in transparent plastic covers. Big publishing houses bundle pullouts and supplementary
publications along with the main magazine and pack them into plastic covers to sell them as a single item.
Many publications, especially IT magazines come in plastic covers because they often pack special gifts like CDs, information booklets, etc.
“Plastic covers help magazines self-advertise themselves on newsstands. They also remain protected from moisture and stains. It’s the same with wedding cards,” said Mahesh Gupta, trader at Sadar Bazar who supplies plastic wrappers to wedding card sellers at Chowri Bazar.
“The problem with plastic bags is that of collection and segregation of waste. The material per se is not harmful. The government is just shirking responsibility,” said Ravi Aggarwal, president of All India Plastic Manufacturers Association.
The government’s enforcement of the ban last year left a lot to be desired. All of 2009, it could fine only about 119
people across the city.