Nearly 8,000 kg plastic bags seized in crackdown after NGT ban
Over the past two weeks, since the National Green Tribunal in an interim order banned plastic measuring less than 50 microns, authorities have seized nearly 8,000 kilograms of polythene bags and collected Rs 2.9 lakh as fines.
The data was released by state environment minister Imran Hussain after he convened a review meeting on Wednesday with senior officials of the municipal corporations, revenue department, environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
“According to reports submitted by various departments, a total of 7,739 kg of plastic carry bags (less than 50 microns) has been seized, 492 challans have been issued and a total of Rs 2.9 lakh has been realized as environment compensation,” the government said in a statement.
On August 10, the NGT had imposed an interim ban on plastic in the city and announced that a penalty of Rs 5,000 would be slapped on violators. The DPCC and local authorities were directed to seize the entire stock of such plastic within one week from the day of the ban. The crackdown, however, started almost after a week the ban was imposed.
To spread awareness about the ban, the minister also directed all departments concerned to issue public notices in newspapers, distribute leaflets or pamphlets to shopkeepers and general public.
“We have also been asked to conduct awareness workshops,” an official from the environment department said.
Traders and manufacturers claimed that at least 25 per cent of plastic bags would vanish from Delhi if the ban was strictly imposed.
According to plastic manufacturing associations, most of the fruit, vegetable vendors and grocery owners use the thinner plastic, which is below 50 microns, because it is cheaper, is compact and takes less space.
A study by Toxic Links had earlier found that after a similar crackdown in 2012 in Delhi, which netted about 300 violators, enforcement was lax and plastic bags reappeared.