Delhi bans disposable plastics

India’s capital city has banned the use of all types of disposable plastics throughout the national capital region. India is among the top plastic polluters in the world.

While air pollution remains a major problem for India’s capital city, 2017 brings at least some relief for a different aspect of pollution: plastic waste.

As of 1 January 2017, the use of all disposable plastics is banned throughout the Delhi national capital region. Included in the ban are produce bags, the popular tea or chai cups, and cutlery, the India Times reported.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed the law banning all plastic disposables in December 2016, partly in response to three local dumping sites that operate as waste-to-energy plants but in fact use illegal mass burning technology that creates air pollution.

As the National Green Tribunal stated “Each of these sites is a depiction of mess that can be created for environment and health of people of Delhi.”

But according to Treehugger, not everyone is pleased with the ban. Many fruit and vegetable vendors fear they will lose business as customers will go elsewhere if they cannot get a bag in which to carry their purchases.

There are also concerns about how the ban will be implemented as it takes time for people to learn about alternatives, like reusable cloth bags. Questions also remain as to how the city will deal with the disposable plastic water bottles popular among residents and tourists alike.

India is one of the top four plastic polluters in the world, responsible for an estimated 60 per cent of the 8.8 million tonnes of plastic that is dumped into the world’s oceans each year.



Image credit: Christian Haugen, flickr/Creative Commons

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