India's capital widens ban on plastic bags

Nov 23, 2012
Aan Indian ragpicker searches for plastic waste through smoke coming from burning waste at a garbage dump site in New Delhi in 2007. The Delhi government imposed a blanket ban on the use of all plastic bags on Friday in an attempt to tackle the city's mounting rubbish problems, an official said.

The Delhi government imposed a blanket ban on the use of all plastic bags on Friday in an attempt to tackle the city's mounting rubbish problems, an official said.

Thin plastic bags—measuring less than 40 microns thick—were banned in India's capital in 2009, but the new rules will cover all for items such as magazines and greeting cards as well as garbage bags.

"From today, the government has banned all use, sale and manufacture of plastic bags in the city. No exceptions will be made," a senior official in the Delhi chief minister's office told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Plastic is an environmental disaster. These bags clog the city's drains, they are non-biodegradable. It might take time, but we have to ensure that this ruling is enforced throughout Delhi," he added.

Those caught violating the new rules will face a unspecified fine.

The 2009 on plastic bags is rarely enforced, with vegetable and fruit sellers, small shops and takeaway restaurants still freely using cheap, thin bags to package their products.

According to the Delhi government's website, the city, which is home to 17 million people, generates 574 metric tonnes (1.2 million pounds) of plastic waste each day.

Earlier this month, a leading plastic manufacturers' association took the government to court over the new ban in a case that is being heard by the Delhi High Court.

The All India Plastic Industries Association (AIPIA) said the order would jeopardise the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people involved in the manufacture and sale of .

The ban on items such as plastic garbage bags is also likely to stir resistance with few alternatives available on the market.

Shopping bags made from jute, a vegetable fibre used to make coarse-textured fabric, have become popular since the 2009 ban but are not widely available for sale.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China to step up fight against plastic addiction

May 29, 2011

China will expand a ban on free shopping bags, state media said, as it tries to further curb its addiction to plastic in a bid to rid the country of "white pollution" that clogs waterways, farms and fields.

Europe may ban plastic bags

May 18, 2011

With each European using 500 plastic bags per year, and tonnes of plastic littering the Mediterranean, the European Commission may ban them from stores or tax them to combat pollution.

Opposition to plastic grocery bags grows

Jul 28, 2005

Opposition to the use of plastic grocery bags is increasing across the United State and most particularly in California, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Whole Foods drops plastic bags

Apr 23, 2008

Whole Foods Market marked Earth Day Tuesday by ending the use of disposable plastic grocery bags at its U.S., Canadian and British stores.

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2012
The problem really isn't the plastic bag, nor the plastic soda bottle.

The problem is everyone throws them away after one use.

If you had the number of soda bottles we toss in a day, and took them all back in time 2500 years, then through "re-using it," they'd be sufficient for most of the world's daily food and water storage and transport needs for a period of several hundred years.
tadchem
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2012
The solution is to view the problem from a different viewpoint. A landfill is an excellent source of raw materials - for anyone with a mind to mine it. Everything from wood pulp to gold can be extracted - with a little work.
IronhorseA
3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2012
They would be better off requiring recycling. Sell the used plastic back to the plastic makers at a price that covers collection cost while being less expensive than using oil and use fines to 'motivate' people to recycle. Reduces landfill waste and their dependence on oil at the same time. And no tax involved, fines are only collected from violators.
Moebius
not rated yet Nov 25, 2012
What happens in high pop density places like this and others is a shade of the future we all face when we fail to control our population growth

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...