NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned single-use plastic bags of thickness less than 50 microns, two years ago. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, promised to phase out single-use plastic by 2022, a year ago and yet walking on the banks of Yamuna, fruits and vegetable market in Okhla and markets in Sonia Vihar shows that the challenge is against the Capital.
Delhi produces 2,51,674 tonnes of plastic each year, 50 per cent of which is single-use, according to records.
Sanjeev Khirwar, Delhi Environment Secretary, said that despite the ban plastic bags less than 50 microns are found in the markets. About a month ago, a team of Delhi government officials seized about 500 kg banned plastic bags from Sadar Bazar, which was imported from Gujarat.
“If you look at advisory we have on tobacco products, they look terrible. Similar advice on plastic products will help reduce their use. There will also be a positive impact on school education and community ownership,” he said.
In an NGT order of 2017, the tribunal banned single-use plastic, such as straw, cups and cutlery in Delhi. Municipal officials initially imposed a fine on vendors; traveling to Sonia Vihar and Okhla reveals that disposable plastic products are in large-scale.
Along the river, anything from flip-flops to paper products lay in piles every few feet. Shop owners admitted they were concerned, but didn’t know how to fix the mess.