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HC cracks the whip, govt to enforce law on plastic bags

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 4 (UNI) Close on the heels of Delhi High Court directing the state government to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags in the national capital, it has initiated a drive to implement the Recycled Plastic Manufacturing and Usage Law to pave way for prolific use of biodegradable plastic bags in the city.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee put out an advertisement in prominent daily newspapers asking all plastic carry bag manufacturing units in the capital to apply for registration or renewal within four months.

It said that under the Recycled Plastic Manufacturing and Usage (Amendment) Rules 2003 no person would be allowed to use plastic manufacture carry bags or containers irrespective of their size or weight unless his unit was registered with the DPCC.

Non-compliance of the directions would attract strict penal action, it warned.

According to the amended rules no person could manufacture, stock, distribute or sell plastic bags that were less than 20x30 cm in size or were less than 20 microns in thickness.

It also prohibited any person from making carry bags or containers used for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging foodstuff, from recycled plastic.

On April 26, the Delhi High Court had directed the state government to give effect to the Delhi Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Sale and Usage) and Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act immediately, banning non-biodegradable plastic bags in the city.

A division bench comprising Justices M K Sharma and Reva Khetrapal said either the state should notify the act or specify the reasons for not implementing the act for the past three years in an affidavit by May 17, the next date of hearing.

The Court also asked the Centre to consider the suggestion of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to recycle the used plastic bags as material in road construction.

The CPCB had asked the Jadavpur University and the Thyagraj Engineering College of Madurai to study the re-usability of the plastic bags.

The study had suggested that the used plastic bags could be used for construction of the top layer of the road.

The court also asked the Election Commission to state in an affidavit the reasons for banning use of plastic banners and flags by the candidates in the assembly election in West Bengal.

The bench asked the union government to suggest, in an affidavit, the ban of plastic bags and implementation of biodegradable plastic all over the country.

The amendment in the Delhi Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Sale and Usage) and Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2003, had made it mandatory for five-star hotels, restaurants with 100 seats and hospitals with 100 beds in Delhi to use only bio-degradable plastic bags.


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