1. Delhi’s millennium problem: NGT bans plastic, now city faces 9000 kg problem

Delhi’s millennium problem: NGT bans plastic, now city faces 9000 kg problem

Even as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) completely banned plastic “less than 50 microns”, the AAP Government in the national capital and the three municipal corporations have collected about 9,000 kg of plastic.

By: | New Delhi | Published: August 24, 2017 10:51 AM
NGT, Delhi, AAP Government, MCD, non-bio degradable plastic bags, environment, environmental hazards NGT had slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found in possession of non-bio degradable plastic bags. (IE)

Even as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) completely banned plastic  “less than 50 microns”, the AAP Government in the national capital and the three municipal corporations have collected about 9,000 kg of plastic. However there is a problem as no one knows where to dispose it, Indian Express said. Recently, NGT had slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found in possession of non-bio degradable plastic bags.

After this, the Delhi Government and MCDs are working to implement the ban on war footing basis. While the AAP Government in the national capital claimed to have seized a total of 7,739 kg of plastic bags and collection of Rs 2.9 lakh, civic bodies said it collected 1,200 kg of bags and more than a lakh as compensation. Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain also asked officials to “strictly implement the NGT’s directions” and “send regular action-taken reports”, the paper added.

However, the larger problem of disposing of the bags continues to remain. Officials said that if dumped in landfills, they will pollute the environment for a millennium.

While admitting that disposing plastic amassed, because of the volume was a problem, a government spokesperson told Indian Express, “The government has collected the plastic waste and the MCDs are trying to figure out a solution.” A solution, though, is hardly on the horizon. A senior SDMC official said, “There is simply too much plastic waste. We are trying to figure out different options, including sending them to waste-to-energy plants. We are also speaking to different recycling units. But in all likelihood, they will end up at a landfill.”

Swati Singh Sambhyal, programme officer at Centre for Science and Environment, while cautioning told the paper, “Dumping plastic at a landfill will defeat the purpose of the ban. Burning it is also not an option. While they (authorities) can speak to different waste-to-energy plants, it will also not be without potential pollution. A solution, for now, would be to stock it, but the larger focus needs to be on stopping the manufacture of such plastic.”

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